Uber and Lyft vehicles help individuals across the country in various ways. Many use these vehicles to get around town, commute to work, or get home safely after a night of drinking.
While there are numerous benefits to using rideshare vehicles, the unfortunate reality is that we don’t know exactly whose car we may be getting into. In recent months especially, there have been more and more news reports of riders who become victims of crimes by their own Uber and Lyft drivers.
Both Uber and Lyft require their drivers to pass background checks which attempt to disqualify drivers who could possibly be a danger to both other drivers on the road and passengers. In most jurisdictions, however, the crimes that can disqualify potential drivers are not taken into consideration after 7 years.
By sharing the following tips, we hope that others can avoid dangerous situations and ensure their safety and the safety of those with them.
Safely Identifying Your Driver
1. The first thing you should do is to identify your driver. The app will tell you where your driver is in real-time and when they should be arriving.
2. Your driver should be actively looking for you, just as you are looking for them and their vehicle. The app will tell you:
- The driver’s name and photo
- Car model; and
- License plate number
If a car pulls up that you believe to be your Uber or Lyft ride, you should compare this information with the car and driver’s information.
3. Once you identify the basic information, compare the driver’s face with the photo on the app. Do not get into the vehicle if any information is not adding up as it should.
4. Many individuals approach vehicles they believe are their Uber and Lyft vehicles and ask, “Are you here for [name]?” That is exactly what you do not want to do. Instead of asking a yes or no question, make sure to ask an open-ended question that requires a specific answer, such as your name and where your destination is. A better (and safer) question to ask a driver is “Who are you here for?” If the driver does not know your name, do not get into the vehicle.
If you ever feel unsafe or threatened while in an Uber, the app has an emergency line as well as an emergency button that you can utilize for immediate help. Lyft has a 24/7 safety team that you can notify via the app as well.
It’s important to remember that accidents can still happen in rideshare vehicles. In fact, you have a higher chance of being involved in an accident than having a crime committed against you in an Uber or Lyft vehicle. If this happens, make sure you know the steps to take following the accident, who to contact, and how an attorney can help you determine liability and seek compensation for any injuries you sustained.
Contact Shevlin Smith for Legal Help
If you were injured in any way while using a rideshare vehicle, it’s essential to obtain legal representation. The attorneys at Shevlin Smith have more than 140 years of combined experience helping injury victims in the Fairfax and D.C. area. With the emergence of Uber and Lyft, our legal staff is dedicated to helping injury victims who have used these services obtain the compensation they need to heal.
Don’t hesitate to contact Shevlin Smith at (703) 721-4233 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case.