Ridesharing savvy can help you get home safely

A night on the town is an enjoyable way to spend time with a significant other or a group of friends. Those who indulge in a few cocktails while out on the town must put safety first to ensure they and others get home safely.

According to data from the National Highway Safety Administration, drunk driving fatalities decreased by 65 percent between 1982 and 2016. Education about impaired driving no doubt played a role in that reduction, as have the bevy of options adults now have in regard to getting home without getting behind the wheel.

Ridesharing is one such option that many people now rely on when spending a night out on the town. While ridesharing services are a safe way to get home at night, caution must still be heeded when utilizing services like Lyft® or Uber®.

• Stay inside when requesting a ride. Avoid lingering outside too long and looking vulnerable, particularly if you are alone. Request the ride before you leave the venue and then you can hop in the car when it pulls up.

• Confirm the identifying features. Make sure the vehicle make, license plate number and driver’s details are the ones listed on the rideshare app so you know you are getting in the right vehicle. Imposters posing as rideshare drivers prey on unsuspecting passengers.

• Check the driver’s rating. Various stories have surfaced of drivers from popular ridesharing services assaulting passengers. A driver who has had prior incidents is likely to have a poor rating. Cancel the ride if the driver on the way has bad reviews.

• Ride in the rear. Put a safety barrier between yourself and the driver by riding in the back seat instead of the front.

• Map the ride home. Use your phone to map the trip home so you can see if the driver is keeping the course or leading you astray.

• Use “share status” to alert others. Give friends your ride information through “share status” or “send ETA” so they can see your trip and estimated time of arrival. The driver’s information and other details also will be shared as an extra safety precaution.

• Never pay cash. There’s no need to have cash on hand when utilizing ridesharing apps. A driver should never ask for cash, even for a tip. Keep your wallet out of sight at all times.

• Get dropped off down the street. Do not share personal information during the ride, and ask to be dropped off on a corner away from your actual home.

Ridesharing can be a great way to get home after a night out on the town, especially when users take steps to ensure their safety during the ride.

Author: Rachel Howell

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