Here are 10 tips to help enjoy a safe ride-hailing experience

Woman with cellphone at night

Ride-hailing services like Uber or Lyft are counted among the safer ways for University of Oregon students to get around, along with UO-operated ride services.

But even though ride-hailing drivers have been vetted by their companies, which have a powerful interest being safe and reliable, the fact remains that drivers and riders are usually strangers to one another. Riders especially should follow some basic tips to maximize personal safety:

  1. Wait indoors
  • Waiting for a ride inside protects from weather as well as from other strangers and can give the opportunity to verify the arriving ride-hail vehicle from a safe place.

     2. Verify the driver and car

  • Make sure the driver's photo and the license plate, color, make and model of the car match what's in the app.
  • Ask the driver the name of the rider he or she is supposed to pick up.
  • Some apps have extra measures to confirm the car and driver are legitimate and the right one for the ride; use them.

     3. Share your ride details with friends or family

  • Use any share features within the apps to send the estimated time of arrival, ride status and details to people you know.
  • If that feature isn't available, take a quick photo of the car and license plate with your phone and send it to a friend or family.
  • If you do engage with friends or family this way, check in after and let them know you completed your ride safely.

     4. Go in a group

  • Just like walking, riding can be safer in numbers.
  • Splitting the ride can also save money.
  • Most services have options for sharing or pooling rides if you don't already have a group of friends.

      5. Follow your gut

  • If the ride doesn't feel safe, don't get in.
  • If something unsafe happens during the ride, call 911 immediately.

      6. Sit in the back

  • This creates personal space for riders and drivers.
  • It lets you exit through either back door to avoid obstacles or moving traffic.

      7. Follow the ride on your own maps app

  • Keep an eye on your trip progress on a map app on your phone during the ride, and be aware of any odd turns or changes to the route. Ask your driver to explain, and follow your gut on whether you should ask to get out, or even call 911.

      8. Keep details private

  • Ride-hailing apps anonymize phone numbers and other personal details; don't offer these to drivers in conversation — especially details about where you live, your travel plans or contact information.

     9. Rate your driver and check ratings

  • After your ride, rate your driver in the app.
  • When requesting a ride, check the driver's rating before accepting.

   10. Consider the options

Find options easily on the UO Rides tab on the free UOregon mobile app (available on the iTunes store and Google Play).