(Source:  Hassan, Adeel, “Taking Uber?  Here Are Tips for Staying Safe.”  The New York Times 4 Apr. 2019:  Web 16 Apr. 2019).

In recent years, there have been over two dozen instances in which persons have been attacked after getting into a ride-share car, which they mistook for the car they had hailed on their ride-share app. In one recent instance, police said that a college student was killed after getting into a car she thought was her Uber. In the wake of this tragedy, law enforcement authorities and ride-share companies have initiated a public safety campaign geared towards helping to keep riders safe.  A ride-share is an arrangement between a vehicle owner and a person who enters a pickup location and destination through an app, or a website, for a fee. In most cases, the user will have no familiarity with the driver.

According to advocates, law enforcement and ride-share companies, the following are six things ride-share users can do to stay safe:

  • – Before entering a car, ask the driver “What’s my name?” This is the first question you should ask before getting into a car in order to be sure it is the one you called.
  • – Make sure that you get into the car described in your ride-share app and/or in the confirmation text sent to you. The information should include the license plate, make and model of the car, and will sometimes include the color of the car. If there is any discrepancy, you should not get in the car.
  • – Ask your driver his/her name. If it doesn’t match with the information provided to you, do not get into the car. Also, compare any photo of your driver to him/her when they arrive to pick you.
  • – Ride-share apps have a feature that permits you to share your trip details with friends, family, and groups. This way, a friend or family member will not only know your destination but also, they can follow your route as you proceed on your trip.
  • – Although not widespread yet, some Uber and Lyft cars have glowing dashboard lights that change color to match a hue on the passenger’s app.
  • – Do not hesitate to call for help by dialing 911 if you have a safety concern or other emergency.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of persons who use ride-share apps and for the motoring public on the roads and highways in Berks County and Schuylkill County, and serve auto, truck, and motorcycle accident victims and their families in Reading, PA, Pottsville, PA, and throughout Central and Eastern Pennsylvania, including Philadelphia. The lawyers at the firm handle personal injury claims, including claims for serious injuries and wrongful death caused by the negligence of other vehicle operators.

From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire

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