Ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft have quite literally changed the world. They’ve made it more convenient and cost-effective than ever for people to get and share rides to their destinations. They’ve also created thousands of jobs for people who want the flexibility to work on their own terms. But if there’s one area of concern that people are worried about, it’s safety.
6 Helpful Safety Tips
There’s a lot of information on the internet regarding the proactive steps passengers can take to stay safe when riding Uber or Lyft. However, there isn’t nearly enough conversation about the risks drivers face and how they can stay safe when behind the wheel.
In response to this, here are some helpful safety tips we believe are extremely important:
- Be a Smart Driver
Your ultimate priority as an Uber or Lyft driver is to get your passengers to their final destination safely. This means your primary focus is to be a smart and safe driver.
The most common car accident types are single-car accidents, vehicle rollovers, head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and side-impact collisions. Contrary to popular belief, the majority of car accidents occur on residential/city streets – not interstates or highways. Be aware of high-risk areas like intersections, two-lane roads without medians, and lanes where merging commonly occurs.
- Focus on Driving
“You can help keep roads safe by staying alert, keeping your eyes on the road, and avoiding texting while driving,” Uber tells its drivers. “We recommend using a mount to position your phone in a place where you can easily see it to help reduce dangerous distractions. It’s also important to stop and rest when needed to prevent drowsy driving.”
There’s nothing wrong with conversing with your passengers and making them feel comfortable in your vehicle, but be wary of letting socialization compromise your focus. Safe driving is always the primary point of emphasis.
- Be Selective
You have the ability to use discretion when accepting rides. While you want to earn as much income as possible in a given day, don’t let your pursuit of money cloud your judgment.
Before accepting a rider, take the time to view the passenger information that’s available to you through the app. Does the rider have good ratings? What area of town are you picking up in? Is it late at night? Trust your gut and don’t put yourself in a situation where you feel uncomfortable or at-risk.
- Encourage Backseat Riders
Uber and Lyft advise their drivers to encourage passengers to ride in the backseat. This is helpful for a number of reasons. First off, it allows passengers to safely exit the vehicle on either side (maximizing safety at busy drop-off points). Secondly, it gives drivers personal space.
Most passengers will automatically sit in the backseat without being told. If you encounter a lot of passengers who want to sit in the front, you can do yourself a favor by placing items in the passenger seat. This sends a signal that riders are to get in the back.
- Ensure Legal Drop-Offs
When dropping off passengers, be careful about where you drop them. You should only drop off riders in safe and permissible locations. This includes driveways, loading zones, and other safe pull-off areas. Never let a passenger off in the middle of traffic – even if they suggest it.
- Install a Dash Cam
Driving for a ridesharing service can open you up to considerable risk from a liability perspective. All it takes is one disgruntled passenger to make a claim against you and you could find yourself in a legal matter where it’s the customer’s statement against yours.
The best way to protect yourself from unjust claims and other risky situations is to install a dash cam. For your convenience, here’s a list of some of the top dash cams on the market.
Stay Out of Harm’s Way
Driving for a service like Uber or Lyft is a wonderful opportunity. It provides a chance to earn income – possibly thousands of dollars per month – on your own terms. But in order to maximize your potential and increase earning power, you have to stay safe. Keep these tips in mind and, above all else, use common sense!