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Stay Safe While Ridesharing

Stay Safe While Ridesharing

Safety Tips for Passengers

Since ridesharing has become part of our daily lives, there have been news reports about ridesharing assaults. It’s easy to assume that the passenger is always the victim, but this situation can be equally dangerous for a driver. Drivers may have control of the car, but they are still driving strangers around, some of whom have bad intentions. We don’t encourage you to avoid ridesharing or be afraid of it, but it is important to remain vigilant in any situation where you are alone with strangers.

Assaults are not the only inherent danger in ridesharing. Any situation involving vehicles on the road creates the possibility of car accidents. In this article, we will discuss safety tips for ridesharing and what to do if you are in an accident while using a rideshare service.

Be Aware of High-Crime Times

Rideshares happen more frequently at “high-crime” times, such as later at night when people have been drinking. The ability to drink without fear of a car accident is one of the major draws and uses of a rideshare service. It may be a good idea, however, to plan your night a bit beforehand. Designating a sober, trusted driver for the evening is a surefire way to avoid potential trouble from a rideshare service.

If you do plan to drink and take a rideshare, make sure you have someone with you. There is strength in numbers, and you will be safer with more friends in the car.

Double Check the Driver

Ask the driver their name, check the license plate, and take a good look at them, insuring they match the picture on the app. Make sure the car matches the one described on the app. It’s easy to impersonate a rideshare driver, so double check that you’re getting in the car with the right person.

Stay in the Back Seat

If you’re alone, stay in the back, preferably behind the driver. Unlike traditional taxis, there will be no plastic partition between you and them. Putting as much distance and obstacle between you and them will make a quick exit easier if necessary.

Test the Child Locks

Make sure the child locks, which make opening the back door impossible, are off. If they appear to be on, don’t be afraid to ask that they’re turned off. Remember, these drivers are working for you, and they should be happy to take steps to make you feel safe.

Pay Attention

As the ride progresses, keep an eye on your surroundings. If the route seems unfamiliar, speak up and ask which way the driver is going. If you don’t know the route, make a mental note of any landmarks along the way. Keep a GPS map application open on your phone with the destination, and make sure the driver is going the right way.

Use Your Phone

There are various apps you can use to share your location with emergency contacts such as Life360, Kitestring, and Circle of 6. You can also video chat while you ride, so your friend can see what’s happening in the car. This also makes the driver aware that you’re staying in contact with the outside world.

Be Ready to Exit the Car

If you start to feel uncomfortable or unsafe, ask the driver to pull over, get out, and find a safe place. Once you’re clear and safe, make sure to rate the driver on the app, fully detailing what happened and why the ride felt strange.

Safety Tips for Drivers

Send a Schedule to Loved Ones

Let your friends and family know when you are out on the road. If you plan your schedule in advance, you can invite them to share your online calendar. If you’re more likely to be spontaneous with your work schedule, send a text letting your loved ones know you’re beginning your shift. Then send them another text when you get back home.

Make Passengers Say Your Name

Just as there are nefarious people who can pose as drivers, there are people who can pose as passengers. You can get them to say your name subtly with a question like, “who are you waiting for?” Don’t lead them to the answer. Make sure they say your name without any help before you let them in. If they are equally cautious about getting you to say your name first, you can show one another the app, confirming that they are the right passenger with the right driver.

Use Tech

Install a dash cam. Not only will this help keep you safe, it will also be helpful in case you are accused of inappropriate behavior. Use apps to share your location with emergency contacts such as Find My Friends, Google Maps, TrackView, and Facebook Messenger.

What to Do if You Are in a Ridesharing Accident

If you are in a rideshare car accident, whether you are a driver or a passenger, you should treat it like any other car accident.

  • Tend to any wounds.
  • Call emergency services.
  • Gather everyone’s insurance information.
  • Note the makes and models of all cars involved.
  • Take pictures of all damage.
  • Gather information from witnesses.
  • Call your insurance company when everything has settled down.

Information for Passengers

Rideshare drivers should be insured by the rideshare company. This insurance is meant to help cover passengers, regardless of who was at fault in the accident. If you are having difficulty receiving insurance benefits for your injuries, talk to an attorney about bringing a lawsuit against the rideshare company itself.

Your best bet is to sue the rideshare company. While it is possible to sue your driver or the other driver, doing so has its own difficulties. Either driver may be personally uninsured, or there may be liability complications since your driver crashed while working. Rideshare insurance has many forms of liability compensation, including coverage for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income or future income, punitive damages, and wrongful death.

Information for Drivers

As a driver, you should be insured by the company that employs you, and you should have your own insurance for private use. These will take care of you if you are in an accident.

You should also consider rideshare insurance. It is a tricky bit of insurance to understand, but it protects you when you haven’t accepted a job yet. The second you accept a job, drive to the pickup location, and drop off the passenger, you should be covered by your company’s insurance. At those moments, you are “on the clock.” But accidents can happen between jobs, as well. Rideshare insurance covers you specifically between jobs.

Talk to an Attorney

Finally, call a lawyer. Insurance obligations become complicated when someone was driving for work, another driver was involved, and there were passengers. Insurance companies have a reputation for finding reasons to deny your benefits, and you need an attorney who can fight them and get them to pay. Benefits don’t always cover all your medical bills, either. You might need the services of a good lawyer to help you in a personal injury case.

The Manton Law Firm, LLC is ready if you have been injured in a ridesharing accident. Our number is (678) 926-9208, and we can be reached online.