Ridesharing has changed how California residents get from place to place. The ease and convenience of scheduling trips with smartphones have revolutionized an industry where buses and taxi cabs once dominated the roads.

Not all is positive when it comes to this new type of travel. Essentially Uber and Lyft customers are getting in cars with strangers. Whether through deception or poor vetting practices, some drivers are using their position of power as a means to sexually harass and assault their passengers.

Protecting your well-being comes through smart and proactive steps to ensure that you get to your destination safe and sound.

Have a means of communication

Smartphone aficionados do not necessarily need to be reminded to keep their phones charged. However, there are times when they fail to see a low or depleted battery. Being in the backseat of a car with an unknown driver without any type of communication presents serious dangers.

Make sure you’re getting into the right car

Upon receiving confirmation, remember, if not memorize, the license plate number. Not having that important information could result in getting in the first car you see pulling over. Double-checking the plate is essential. For more peace of mind, ask the driver who they are picking up before getting in.

Use the tried and true “buddy system”

A night on the town where alcohol was consumed may be enjoyable, but the fun can quickly end if you get into a car with a driver or fellow passenger with sinister intentions. Safety in numbers is paramount. Having a friend with you can keep you from any harm.

Know the rideshare app features

Being familiar with the app you used to order the car can help to keep you safe. Keeping friends and family members in touch by having them follow the ride in real-time. Uber’s app features an emergency button to call 911.

In addition to the above tips, the best way to protect yourself is to trust your instincts and be aware of your surroundings at all times. A night on the town should be an enjoyable experience, not a tragic one.

By Maho | Prentice, LLP Attorneys at Law on March 31, 2021