Uber and Lyft have been criticized for not sufficiently evaluating their drivers and not prioritizing passenger safety, prompting some cities to place temporary bans or restrictions on the services. Both companies say passenger safety is their top priority and have stood by their background-check processes.
After the attack on Josephson, Uber re-upped its public safety awareness campaign called “Check Your Ride,” first introduced in 2017, urging users to take certain precautions: Match the license plate, car make and model to what the app displays, and check the driver’s photograph before getting in.
Of course, as critics put it: The onus should not be on women to vigilantly create safe spaces for themselves — and yet often it is.
Here are a few safety tips I always abide by.
Ask the driver’s name.
In addition to asking the driver for your name, ask your driver for his or her name and look closely to make sure the photo on the app matches. If the driver’s phone is mounted on the dashboard, look to see if it’s displaying your name.
Share your status.
Share your trip details with friends through the sharing option on the app. By adding your destination and sharing through a text, others can watch your ride, in real time, on a map. Uber and Via monitor drivers’ routes, sending alerts to their staff if the cars go off course.
Match the light.
Some Uber and Lyft vehicles have illuminated windshield icons called Beacon and Amp that change color to match a hue on a passenger’s app. If this is available to you, make sure the color matches. Lawmakers in South Carolina have proposed a law, named for Samantha Josephson, that would require it in all such vehicles.
This content was originally published here.