Following news that Uber announced more than 3,000 sexual assaults reported in US rides in 2018, Cutter Law P.C. is issuing a list of tips for passengers to protect themselves while using a rideshare.
Cutter Law is co-counsel representing dozens of women sexually assaulted during Lyft rides and our attorneys have seen first-hand the devastating consequences of Uber and Lyft sexual assaults.
Too often, women are victimized by companies that put profits ahead of safety and allow dangerous people to be in positions where they can take advantage of women. By not conducting adequate background checks, ride-sharing companies such as Uber and Lyft place passengers in danger, even while these companies market themselves as safe.
Unfortunately, passengers cannot rely on Uber and Lyft to conduct thorough background checks or to fire drivers. Here are some important tips all passengers can follow to keep safe while using a ride-share:
- Don’t ride alone
Take a rideshare with someone you trust and make sure you both get out at the same destination. If are planning on drinking, arrange to have a designated rider: someone who is sober and will use the rideshare with you to your destination. If you call a rideshare for an intoxicated friend, don’t put them in the car alone—go with them or arrange for someone else you trust to accompany them.
- Use trip-sharing features
Share live updates on your trip with people you trust. Many ride-sharing apps let you share information about your trip with friends, including who your driver is, where you’re going and when you’re expected to arrive.
- Sit in the back seat
Keep some distance between you and your driver.
- Keep your phone in your hand
Make it quick and easy to call for help if needed. When you’re in an emergency, you don’t have time to look through a purse or your pockets to find your phone.
- Use a taxi or call a friend if you are intoxicated
Predators tend to prey on people at their most vulnerable. Have a plan with friends and keep the phone number of a taxi company on your phone so you can easily organize a safe ride home if you are intoxicated.
- Trust your gut
If your gut tells you something is wrong, listen to it. Don’t get in the car.
“These companies promote themselves as safe alternatives for people who have been drinking,” says Cutter Law attorney Brooks Cutter. “But many of these incidents happen when a passenger has had too much to drink. When there’s a solo, intoxicated woman in the car, they are vulnerable to predatory drivers.”