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Keep safety in mind with taking an Uber or Lyft

Monday, April 22, 2019

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes is urging fellow Utahns to be alert when ordering and taking a rideshare like Uber and Lyft.  This safety reminder comes after the shocking news of a South Carolina college student who was killed after getting into a car she thought was an Uber.

“That case is simply horrifying,” Attorney General Reyes said. “But I believe the tragic death of Samantha Josephson is a reminder to all of us to be fully aware when we use Uber or Lyft.”

The Attorney General adds: “These safety guidelines are a good reminder to everyone. We all need to trust that the ride we’re getting is with a legitimate driver, not a potentially dangerous stranger.”

Law enforcement confirms that such cases are relatively rare, and there are thousands of Utahns who use ride share companies like Uber and Lyft every day without problems.  But individuals can be extremely vulnerable when riding in a strangers’ vehicle, and Attorney General Reyes believes it is wise to review the Uber and Lyft safety guidelines to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.   

  • Check for a matching license plate number: Match the license plate with the one that comes up in the app before you get in to ensure you are getting in the right vehicle.
  • Before you get in: Ask the driver who he or she is there to pick up. Since the app provides the driver with your name, they should be able to answer.
  • Use caution: Uber and Lyft rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride.
  • Sit in the backseat: If you’re riding alone, this ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space.
  • Wear a seat belt: The Centers for Disease Control reports that seatbelt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car accidents.
  • Keep your valuables close: Per the ride share’s terms of service, the companies are not responsible for personal belongings left in the car by drivers or riders, and there’s no reimbursement for those items.
  • Let a friend know: During your ride, tap “Share status” in the app to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They can track your trip and see your ETA without downloading the apps.

Don’t share too much info: There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact.

Photo by Victor Xok

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