By Elizabeth Brantingson
After a night of drinking, college students strive to be safe by choosing Uber for transportation. Uber, which originated in Pairs in 2008 and is now in 575 cities around the globe, also strives for their users to stay safe.
Susan Hendrick, who works in communications and public policy at Uber, gives four tips for staying safe when using Uber. Hendrick’s first tip is to “check the deets.”
“After the car has arrived, be sure to check the vehicle information,” Hendrick says.
This includes the license plate, car model and driver’s name, which all appear on the app. Ask the driver his or her name and confirm it before getting in the vehicle.
“Remember, there are no street hails with Uber, so never accept a ride from someone saying they can give you an Uber home.”
Hendrick’s second tip is “share the tip,” which involves using the Uber app.
“By tapping the ‘send status’ button, you can immediately share your vehicle information and map to a friend or family member. If you’re meeting someone, they can watch your trip to anticipate your arrival.”
You can also share it with a family or friend so they can monitor your trip and be sure you arrive home or back to your dorm safely.
Third, is to “stay safely inside” your location before the Uber arrives.
“The beauty of Uber is that you can push a button and get a ride while you’re still indoors with friends. No need to hang out at the curb while it’s raining. You’ll be notified when your driver is arriving.”
Lastly, Hendrick says to “use common sense.”
“Yes, the same lecture you get from your parents. Take a few steps to plan ahead and ensure everyone has a way to get home. There is no need to share personal information with your driver or fellow POOL riders. If something doesn’t feel right, follow your intuition. And if you ever feel you’re in an emergency situation, always call 911 immediately.”
Additionally, Uber insures the safety of its passengers by requiring that its drivers are screened.
“Uber follows the eligibility criteria set forth in local law in screening driver partners’ backgrounds. Our technology makes it possible to focus on safety for riders and drivers before, during and after every trip in ways that have never been possible before,” says Hendrick.
For background checks, drivers must provide their full name, date of birth, social security number, driver’s license number and copy of the license, vehicle registration and insurance and a valid bank account. Uber’s disqualification criteria varies by jurisdiction of local laws and includes major and minor driving violations and crimes such as DUI and speeding. Additionally, drivers who have been convicted of violent or sexual crimes are disqualified.
Hendrick also mentions that the “feedback” and “ratings” encourages drivers and passengers to keep their behavior in check, which ensures two-way accountability.
In addition to these safety features, Hendrick has other smart pieces of advice for using Uber. There is the split the fare option where riders can select “split fare” after a ride is requested. Choose your friends on the app and tap “send.”
Lastly, Uber’s customer support team and law enforcement response team is available 24/7 to ensure your safety.