ORLANDO, Fla. – Ridesharing, a decade ago the closest thing we had was the carpool to work and school, now it’s the norm to hit your app and have a complete stranger pick you up and drive you wherever you need to go. But there are dangers to think about.
A new report from Lyft revealed there were more than 4,000 cases of sexual assault over a three-year period. Uber reported almost six-thousand sexual assaults over two years. There is no foolproof prevention to keep riders safe, but there are precautions riders can take to stay safer.
With more than 25 percent of the U.S. population requesting a ride at least once a month, how can you make sure you’re safe?
First, prepare your purse. Carry a charged cell phone, a credit card, and cash. Also, think about what items, like keys or pens, could be used for self-defense. Share your trip with others. Both Uber and Lyft make it easy with share buttons directly on their apps.
Before you get in, ask the driver if they know your name and confirm their name, car and license plate match what is on your phone. Once inside, do not share any personal information.
Always sit in the backseat. If something seems off, end the rideshare early. And now, new ride-sharing options are emerging that give women more control in their rideshare choices. Safr is a gender-matching rideshare option in Boston and Orlando. Drivers undergo background checks before being approved. The cars have an SOS button that riders and drivers can touch in case of an emergency.
Be aware that sexual assaults are more likely to happen on weekend nights when more rideshare users are intoxicated.