How to Take Uber/Lyft or Taxi Alone Safely in 3 Simple StepsOct 15, 2021
Cab Safety Tips for Women
Pre-booking or hiring a ride has never been as popular as it has been lately. This growing popularity has not only brought convenience for women and people from all walk of life, also with it comes some setbacks which can be avoided if the passenger is alert and observant.
Several cases have been reported against Uber and Lyft drivers for sexually assaulting women. This raises a very concerning question on women’s safety; especially those who are lone travelers. These cases filed in court have risen over the years.
THREE Basic Safety To-Dos:
Keep your phone fully charged
Before calling an Uber or Lyft, charge your cell phone, enough to sustain your trip. In case your battery dies, and you are standing all alone by the road, you might be approached by various drivers when they see you waiting for your ride. If this happens, distance yourself from them and go to a safe public space where you can use a phone. Call and ask friends or family members who can give you a ride. NEVER stand and wait alone!
TIP: Always have a pair of flats as backup when attending a party or dinner in heels. You never know you might have to walk back home. Those heels in your hands then make an excellent self-defense weapon.
Confirm the driver’s identity
Once your car arrives don’t rush to get in. Check the app for the below information to make sure it is the car you scheduled:
- driver’s name and picture
- vehicle license plate number
- other descriptions of the vehicle example color, model
If anything doesn’t match, then do not get in. For further surety you may ask the driver to confirm his name if it matches the one indicated in the app.
Check whether the car handles are engaging
Before the ride begins check car handles from inside for child-lock. You should be able to open the car door from inside. Sometimes the handles are broken, so always ask the driver for reason when the car handles are not engaging. And if your instinct says it is unsafe, then hop out. Avoid this ride if you can, because in case of a car crash you will be trapped inside.
TIP: Do not get into the car unless you have your app on.
More Actions to Keep the Driver Warned:
Here are some extra actions you may take to let your driver know that everyone else also knows!
- Take a picture of license plate and share it with the dispatcher to inform you verified all details before getting into the car.
- Another best thing would be to take his picture and let him know you are sharing his and car details with family or friends.
These steps will surely keep any person with ill-intentions at bay.
What to do once you are in the cab and feel unsafe? Despite of taking all precautionary measures there are chances you may feel unsafe and uncomfortable. When you sense that your driver isn’t following the correct route, seems impaired, isn’t responding to you, or something is not safe in the car, then immediately hit the emergency button that Uber and Lyft have. It will instantly send your GPS location to your local police without alerting the driver know you have done so.
The app also has calling 911 option, which will track down your GPS location.
TIP: Do not get into an unregistered vehicle.
ACT! It’s the Matter of Life and Death!
Number of sexual assault cases and murders during rides are jarring. Here are some actions you can take that are legal and your last resort:
- Scream: Use your voice to shock the driver and force him to stop his car.
- Jump: If screaming doesn’t work, then assess the speed of the car you're in and when you feel it’s safe to jump out of the car, JUMP!
- Choke: If screaming doesn't work and jumping isn't an option, then use your scarf or a similar piece of your clothing, wrap it around the drivers neck and pretend you are going to choke him unless he lets you out. BE CAREFUL! If you actually start choking your driver, they may lose control of their vehicle and potentially crash, putting your life in danger too.
Note: Make sure you can articulate to the cops that you were being kidnapped and that your actions were necessary in this matter of life & death.
Stay safe my friend and enjoy your ride :)