It’s a Saturday night. You and your friends have decided to have a Girls Night Out on the town. You’ve established the buddy system, stuck to it and even drank water in-between your Sex in the City inspired Martinis. At a reasonable hour, you decide to bring your party to the next location and take to the streets. Once you start walking on your merry way, you make the snap decision that your night appearance has been plentiful and you abruptly call an Uber to send you all back to your comfy beds, preferably with some late night fast food in hand. You stop a car that you believe to be our transportation, fight for any seat but the middle and ride on home. You all sit around with your chicken nuggets in a circle to rehash the night. We were so safe, ladies! We were so smart!
What’s missing from this picture?
The Uber/Lyft Safety Check
1. Plan ahead.
Although everyone loves a bit of spontaneity in their life, deciding to request an Uber/Lyft is not the time to push it. It is important to have a clear plan for your night and stick to these guidelines. Plan ahead and make sure to also share those plans with the people around you to ensure safety and responsible choices.
2. Request your ride inside.
Yes! Who doesn’t love to exchange a musty and crowded bar for the comfort of fresh air? However, waiting outside for a ride is not a safe option. When calling an Uber, make sure that you are indoors and able to confirm the model and make of the car you are looking for before taking to the streets. No one likes an Uber driver who can’t find you. Stay indoors and make ‘em come to you!
3. Get in the right car.
Check that license plate! It seems as if each Uber/Lyft related issues today deal with people forgetting some of the basic rules. When walking up to your expected ride, always make sure that the plate on your app matches the plate on the car. This is one of the easiest and effective ways to help ensure your safety and the safety of other passengers.
4. Be a backseat driver.
Whenever possible, make sure to opt for the backseat. This ensures two exit routes if you or the people around you begin to feel unsafe. The backseat also allows personal space between you and your driver. No one wants their personal space bubble to burst by a stranger! Be mindful and respectful of other people’s space.
5. Buckle up.
Just because you are in someone else’s car, doesn’t mean that “click it or ticket” does not apply! It is so important to buckle your seatbelt during any drive, however, maybe even more so when being chauffeured by a complete stranger! Although Uber/Lyft driver background checks are being revised, the system is not perfect. As a rider, you do not know the driving history of your driver and it is always better to play it safe than sorry. Ride like your mother is watching and buckle that seatbelt!
6. Share your trip details with a friend.
SHAMELESS GROOOP PLUG! When using Uber/Lyft, make sure to let your friends know in the Grooop App by marking yourself as “Out and About” or “Ready to Go.” This is such an easy way to keep your friends and family in the loop of your whereabouts. Is your driver giving off weird vibes? ALERT in the app! You can have the safety and peace of mind without calling the police. We all know those awkward silences that come with driving with a stranger. Instead of twirling your numbs and counting down the minutes before your ETA time matches the current time, fire up the Grooop app and let your loved ones know where you are!
7. Protect your personal information.
Everyone has stories of Uber/Lyft drivers who feel the need to tell you their life story, and even expect yours in return. Whether you got in a fight with your partner or are having problems at work, keep it zipped up! Your driver is not your therapist and should not be tasked with offering advice and keeping your secrets. BREAK THE HABIT OF DRIVER THERAPY SESSIONS. This is an unsafe practice that can put yourself or others in harm’s way. Be mindful and save your precious life story for others.
8. Follow your intuition.
Whether you call it “that voice is the back of your head” or your “sixth sense”, your “gut feeling” or intuition, it matters and holds merit! When alarm bells are ringing in your head, they are ringing away for a reason. Intuition is a powerful tool that should always be utilized when driving with a stranger. If something does not feel like, evacuate the vehicle. I repeat. EVACUATE THE VEHICLE. So you lost $5 from canceling your trip? Boo hoo.
9. Be kind and respectful.
This rule needs no explanation. Be a good person. Who doesn’t want a good Uber rating?
10. Give feedback on your trip.
Loved your driver? Hit him/her with a good ole 5 stars! Felt uncomfy? Let it be known! As riders, it is our civic duty to report on our service to make sure others are warned of the behavior of the driver ahead of time. It is on us all to be vocal about our driving experiences in order to keep us #safertogether.
In this day and age, we rely on Uber/Lyft every day. Whether we having a Girls Night Out on the town or are just too lazy to walk all the way to class, it’s important to handle our Uber/Lyft trips with care. Remember the 10 rules, live by the 10 rules and let the 10 rules guide your Grooop experience. Happy summer!