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Uber Safety Tips: Automated Features Aim to Improve Rider Security, Following Years of Scrutiny

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Uber Safety Tips: In a move designed to enhance rider safety, particularly for women, Uber has automated a series of new features in its rideshare app. This comes after a well-documented history of lawsuits accusing the company of failing to adequately prevent passenger harassment and assault.

Uber Safety Tips and Automated Features

  • Encrypted Audio Recording: This feature allows riders to record their trips with encrypted audio for added security.
  • PIN Verification: Riders will be prompted to enter a PIN code before the trip ends, ensuring they are exiting the intended vehicle.
  • Live Location Sharing: Riders can share their trip progress with friends and family in real-time for added peace of mind.
  • RideCheck: This automated feature detects if a trip ends early, stops unexpectedly, or deviates from the designated route.

These Uber safety tips are currently available in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

Uber Safety Tips
Uber Safety Tips

A History of Spotty Rider Safety

The implementation of these automated safety features follows years of lawsuits filed against Uber. These lawsuits center on allegations that Uber failed to prevent passenger assaults and harassment. Additionally, the company has been accused of inadequate background checks and insufficient safety training for drivers.

Lawsuits Against Uber

  • Over 400 Lawsuits: According to the Lawsuit Information Center, more than 400 lawsuits have been filed against Uber related to passenger assault or harassment.
  • Background Checks and Training: Lawsuits allege Uber used a cursory background check process and failed to implement stricter measures like in-car cameras or enhanced driver screening.
  • Misrepresenting Safety: A recent lawsuit accuses Uber leadership of misrepresenting the safety of its services in public statements and advertising.
  • Safe Rides Fee: A past controversy involved a $1 “safe rides fee” added to trips in 2014. Lawsuits alleged this fee did not go towards improved safety features as promised.
Uber Ride Sharing
Uber Ride Sharing

Do Ridesharing Safety Programs Work?

While Uber implements new safety measures, questions remain about their effectiveness in preventing assault. Similar lawsuits have been filed against Lyft, another rideshare provider.

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Lyft’s Safety Efforts

  • Women+ Connect: Launched in September 2023, this feature allows women and non-binary riders and drivers to request rides with others who identify the same way.
  • Safety Features: Lyft offers features similar to Uber, including location sharing and emergency assistance. However, data on the effectiveness of these features in preventing assault is unavailable.

While rideshare companies are taking steps to improve safety, concerns remain. Riders can utilize the new Uber safety tips and features and stay informed about their options for a secure ride.

Source: Quartz

Uber Safety Tips

Let’s delve into the details of these Uber Safety Tips.

Uber Safety Tips 1. Request Your Ride Inside

Minimize the time you spend standing outside by yourself with your phone in hand. Instead, wait indoors until the app confirms that your driver has arrived. This simple step reduces vulnerability and ensures a safer experience.

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Uber Safety Tips 2. Check Your Ride

Before getting into any vehicle, verify that you’re entering the right car with the correct driver. Match the license plate, car make and model, and driver photo with the information provided in your Uber app. Remember, Uber trips can only be requested through the app, so never board a vehicle where the details don’t align.

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Uber Safety Tips 3. Have the Driver Confirm Your Name

In addition to the standard safety checks, ask the driver to confirm your name before stepping into the car. Your driver sees your first name in their app, and their first name is displayed to you. To safely exchange names, you can inquire, “Who are you here to pick up?” This extra layer of confirmation adds another level of security.

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4. Be a Back-Seat Rider

Whenever possible, choose the back seat, especially if you’re riding alone. Sitting in the back ensures that you can exit the vehicle safely on either side, away from moving traffic. It also provides personal space for both you and the driver.

5. Always Wear Your Seat Belt

Seat belt usage is crucial. According to the Centers for Disease Control, it’s the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car crashes. Buckle up every time you ride with Uber.

6. Share Your Trip Details

While on your journey, tap the “Share trip status” feature in the app. This action sends your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location to a friend or family member. They’ll receive real-time updates, including your estimated time of arrival (ETA).

7. Protect Your Personal Information

Uber’s technology anonymizes your phone number when you communicate with your driver through the app. Additionally, pickup and dropoff addresses are masked in a driver’s trip history. In select areas, the Driver app only displays the general area where a trip began and ended.

8. Follow Your Intuition

Trust your instincts. If something feels off, use your best judgment. In urgent situations, don’t hesitate to call 911 using the Emergency Button in your app. When you contact emergency services through Uber, the app provides your real-time location and trip details to share with the dispatcher.

Remember, these Uber Safety Tips are designed to empower riders and create a safer environment. By following these guidelines, you can contribute to a more secure ride-sharing experience for everyone. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and prioritize your safety whenever you use Uber.

For more information, visit Uber’s official safety tips page.

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