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5 things to keep you safe when using a rideshare service

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Using a rideshare service like Lyft and Uber is becoming all too common place however there are mounting dangers and cautions a person needs to exercise when using this type of service.

For example, San Luis Obispo Tribune reported, “Alfonso Alarcon-Nunez was a 40-year-old serial rapist that worked as an Uber driver. He would escort intoxicated female riders into their homes and sexually assault them and then burglarized them.”

As reported by the Mercury News, “Recently, a Vallejo woman claims in a new lawsuit that her Lyft driver pulled into a dark lane, stopped the car and locked the doors, forcing her to flee out the vehicle’s window.”

Adding that “Uber admitted in 2019 that thousands of sexual assaults had been reported during rides.”

So, the need to be cautious when using these rideshare services is very real.

Here are 5 things to keep you safe when using a rideshare service.

  1. Tell a friend

Be sure to tell a friend or relative when you are taking a rideshare service. Send them the license plate, name of drive as well as make a model of the car via text message or instant messaging. Be sure to include when the location you are being picked up from and it’s destination. Be sure to also include the time of pick up and estimated drop off time. This ensures that someone always knows where you are, who you’re with and where you’re going. In most cases all of that information can be copied and pasted from the app.

2. Stay alert

Instead of looking down on your phone be sure to stay alert to the route your drive is taking. If he is making needless turns or not following the recommended GPS, do not be afraid to call 911 and give them all the information of the driver. Include their license plate, name, service you're using, etc. When the driver hears you making the call, they will be sure to change their devious plans in a heartbeat.

3. Check child lock before getting in

Before you get in the car, check the side of the car door and make sure the child lock is not on. You can quickly test it if you ask the driver to roll down the window before you get in the car. Unlock the door and try to open it in from the inside with your hand through the window. If it does not open, ask the driver to come around and take off the child lock. Be sure to ask him why it’s on in the first place. If it is on, we encourage you to cancel that ride and notify the company why you are canceling the ride and requesting a new one.

4. Hop on the phone with a fried during the ride

While driving in the car, hop on a call with a friend or relative and be sure to let them know the name of your driver, their car color, license plate number and where they picked you up from. When the driver hears that you are telling others about the car and them, they will know that their moves are being tracked and that people are aware of it. If the driver starts to complain about you giving details this may be a good indication they are up to no good. Be sure to report them to their company after the incident.

5. Call a friend if you are not sober

It is not wise or safe to use a rideshare service when you are not sober. As the story in the beginning of this section shows, some drives may try to take advantage of someone in this state. That being the case, be sure to arrange for a friend to pick you up if you have been drinking.

Offer to give them gas money! So not only are you with someone you trust but you are supporting your friend financially.

However, a word of caution here. Some people who claim to be friends are NOT really friends. So, be sure that you really know the person before you ask them for a ride home. Remember that most sexual assault perpetrators are those who knew their victims personally.

This reminds me of that time a very beautiful young lady was waiting at the bus stop when someone she knew offered her a ride. She took the ride and a short time later she either jumped or was thrown from a moving car while on the highway. She was struck by oncoming traffic and died from her injuries. Although the case was never really solved it does underscore the need to know the person you are getting a ride from.

Here are a list of reported incidents involving Lyft & Uber drivers taken from

Alleged Assaults by Uber and Lyft Drivers

London Woman ‘Dragged Down Street After Driver Demanded Cash to Return her Phone’ (7/19/16) Uber Driver Threatens Gay Atlanta Men with Gun (7/1/16) Atlanta Uber Driver Accused of Hitting Passengers with Car (7/1/16) Chicago Lyft Driver Groped, Threatened to ‘F— Up’ Passenger, Prosecutors Say (6/28/16) Los Angeles Rider Says Uber Driver Stole His iPhone, Threatened To Attack Him (6/20/16) Female Passenger was Attacked by Two Men Who Did Not Realise they Would Have to Share a Ride with her After Using the UberPool Car Service in London (6/13/16) Woman says Dispute with Uber Driver Turned Violent in Yeadon, Pennsylvania (6/3/16) Uber driver arrested for attempting to shoot officers in Montgomery County