Pro Safety Tips When Using Ride Hailing Services
Technology apps like Uber have improved safety by creating accountability and transparency where previously there was none. However, when it is time to request a ride, here are some pro tips to help make your trip that much safer. Simply request a ride, wait inside and remember to tick off the following before you hop in the vehicle:
Touting is prohibited on Uber : We encourage riders to take rides only through the Uber app, because this is how our wide range of safety features can be made available to users.. Don’t feel pressured to accept street hail solicitations from anyone claiming to operate on the Uber app. Please make sure you report any case of touting solicitation through our Help Center in the app.
Verify your driver and vehicle before getting into the vehicle: The Uber app provides you with all the details of your driver and vehicle as soon as the driver accepts your request. Make sure that you wait for your driver in a safe well-lit area, preferably with someone, until your confirmed driver has arrived. It is never a good idea to have your phone in clear sight outdoors or in the dark or to wait alone if you can help it.
When the vehicle arrives be sure to:
✓ Identify the vehicle registration plate and cross-check with the app
✓ Check that both the vehicle make and colour matches – an image of the vehicle colour and type is provided in app
✓ Ask for your driver’s name and check the in-app photo – you also have the ability to click into and enlarge the driver photo in-app.
Make use of Trip Anonymization: Kindly note that there’s no need to share your contact information – calls and messages sent through the app don’t use your personal number. We have created an in-app communication channel that allows you to communicate with your driver without you sharing your personal information.
Opt-in and use the Verify Your Trip feature:
- You may opt-in by navigating to the app settings and tapping “Verify Your Trip.” From there onwards the feature will enable you to Verify your ride with a PIN to help make sure you get into the right car, on every trip or only during evening trips (9 pm – 6 am).
Share Your Trip With Your Trusted Contacts: It’s now even easier for riders to keep their loved ones in the loop. Riders can select up to five friends and family members as Trusted Contacts and choose to be prompted to share trip details with them during every ride with a single tap. Also, all rides taken on the Uber app are tracked by GPS from start to finish so there’s a record of your trip if something happens.
RideCheck: Uber has been developing technology that harnesses the power of GPS, along with other sensors from the driver’s smartphone, to identify rare events like unexpected stops or possible crashes. You can turn on this feature by navigating to the app settings and tapping “RideCheck notifications”. When turned on, in the case of an unexpected event on the trip, Uber will initiate a RideCheck by reaching out to the rider to offer assistance.
On trip reporting of safety incidents: if you ever feel uneasy while you are on a trip, you can easily and discreetly report safety incidents while on a trip, to help Uber create safer journeys for everyone.
Law Enforcement Response Team: Uber is committed to continually improving the safety of our platform and contributing to safety in the communities where we operate. Uber has a specialised team dedicated to working with law enforcement agencies around the world, the Law Enforcement Response Team (“LERT”). This team reviews and responds to each law enforcement request Uber receives. The LERT team has processes in place to assist law enforcement on a 24/7 basis, including emergency requests, through our Law Enforcement Portal.
Emergency support: Uber has partnered with Aura which has a 24/7 control room in Nairobi, managed by highly qualified and experienced personnel who are conversant in English and Swahili. highly qualified and experienced personnel who are conversant with both official languages (English and Swahili) in Kenya. All technology is backed up by Aura’s control room, so the Police Service and Emergency Medical Service can be dispatched to the scene if required. The identity of the person making the call automatically appears on the system as well, so all security or medical response teams always have key information on hand.
Security response team will either be armed or nor armed depending on the call from Aura Control Centre who handles all Uber Security related calls.
Use your intuition: There is no need to share personal information with your driver, Uber has an anonymous contact system to ensure riders and drivers don’t need to share their personal information. You can contact a driver at any time through the Uber app. If something doesn’t feel right, follow your intuition.
Uber also has an Incident Response Team (IRT) which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond immediately to any reported incidents or accidents globally.
Did you Know?: Apart from using the steps above, Uber has already required drivers to follow a stringent activation process before they can use the Uber app. This includes
- Possession of a valid Driver’s Licence.
- A clear background check screening conducted by an industry-leading, third-party professional.
Remember to follow these steps to properly identify your vehicle and driver. If you find any discrepancies or inconsistencies with any of the mentioned, feel free to politely cancel the trip and provide feedback in-app.