The Ultimate Uber and Lyft Safety Tips Guide is provided by the HURT-911® Uber accident lawyers in New York and will help you learn how to be safe in an Uber or Lyft when you’re alone and how to ride Uber safely to your destination.
But first, which is safer? Uber, Lyft, or a taxi?
Q. Is Lyft or Uber More Dangerous Than a Taxi?
A. Probably not. It’s hard to determine because there are no statistics compiled for private taxi companies concerning accidents or criminal assaults. Following are some of the reasons that Uber and Lyft may be safer than taxis.
- Uber and Lyft’s app adds considerable safety and should make the trip safer than a taxi.
- With Uber and Lyft, you do not have to wait outside in a potentially dangerous spot waiting to hail a taxi.
- Reports of sexual assaults by Uber and Lyft drivers make headline news but there are several million Uber and Lyft drivers, far more than any taxi company.
- Driver screening is usually a little better than taxicab licensing requirements (according to the Cato Institute).
- Uber and Lyft provide you with substantially more insurance coverage than a taxi.
Disclosure: Attorney Phil Franckel owns 400 shares of Uber and 200 shares of Lyft but it’s a small part of my portfolio, it does not affect my statements here, and I have very successfully sued Uber.
Uber and Lyft Safety Tips Before, During, and After Your Trip
The Uber and Lyft safety tips are organized below telling you
- What you should do before you get in an Uber or Lyft.
- What you should do during your ride.
- What you should do when you exit an Uber or Lyft.
What to Do to Stay Safe Before Getting in an Uber or Lyft
Learn How to Use all of the App’s Features
Requesting the Ride
Request your ride before you go outside. If possible wait inside until your ride arrives.
Opt-In to Receive a 4-Digit PIN From Uber
How to Set Up the Uber 4-Digit PIN
- Open the Uber app
- Click on the user icon at the top right
- Click Settings
- Click Verify Your Ride
- Click Use PIN to verify rides
- Click Done
When you request a ride from Uber, you will receive a 4-digit PIN (unique for each ride) from Uber to share with the driver before the trip can start. Give your 4-digit PIN to the driver BEFORE you get into the Uber car. When the Uber driver enters the 4-digit PIN in his Uber app, you will see in your app, Your ride is verified!
Check the Car and Driver
- Check that the make, model, and license plate of the car match the info on your app.
- Check that the driver’s photo matches the photo on your app.
- Check that the driver’s name matches the name on your app.
Always Ask “What’s my name and where am I going?”
If you aren’t using Uber’s Verify My Ride feature, ask your driver for your name and destination. If you are using Uber’s Verify My Ride, this shouldn’t be necessary.
Someone posing as an Uber or Lyft driver won’t know your name. Only the real Uber or Lyft driver will know your name and your destination.
The parents of Samantha Josephson started the #WhatsMyName Foundation in honor of their daughter. The foundation’s mission is to educate the world on ride-share safety.
Ride in the Back Seat
Don’t ride in the front seat and when you open the rear door, check the child safety lock (see next tip).
Check the Child Safety Lock
Before getting in an Uber or Lyft car and when you open the rear door check the child safety lock for the car’s passenger door to make sure it’s not on!
If the child safety lock is on, you won’t be able to open the door to get out. You can be kidnapped and sexually assaulted or killed if you can’t open the door.
IMPORTANT CHILD SAFETY LOCK TIPS FOR UBER & LYFT
- If the child safety lock is on, DO NOT get into the car
- If the child safety lock is disabled, stuck, or unable to move DO NOT get into the car
- Call 911 and notify Uber or Lyft immediately
Note: Currently, most Uber and Lyft cars still have mechanical child safety locks on the rear doors but mechanical child safety locks on the rear doors are beginning to disappear, especially with EVs. Some cars now have electronic child safety locks for the rear doors that are controllable only by the driver.
Tesla does not have mechanical child safety locks on the rear doors. Tesla uses child safety locks that are controlled electronically on the computer console by the driver. This appears to make Tesla an unsafe car if you’re using Uber or Lyft.
Volvo also stopped using mechanical child safety locks on the rear doors.
How Do I Check the Child Safety Lock on the Most Popular Uber Cars?
The image at the top of this page shows where the child safety lock is located on many cars and how to check the child safety lock to make sure it’s not on. These videos show similar locations where the child safety lock is located and how to check.
This video shows where the child safety lock is located and how to check it on a Toyota and most cars
Chevrolet Child Safety Lock Tutorial
Honda Odyssey Child Safety Lock is in a slightly different location
Make Sure Your Phone’s Location-Sharing Is Turned On
Before you use the app to call an Uber or Lyft, check your phone to make sure your phone’s location-sharing is turned on. Do this before you get in the Uber or Lyft car.
Put On the Seatbelt
Even though you’re sitting in the back seat, it’s still dangerous. Federal crash statistics show passengers in the rear are three times more likely to die if they aren’t wearing a seat belt.
If you are injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, even if you were not wearing a seatbelt, call the HURT-911® Uber accident lawyers in New York right now 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation at
1-800-HURT-911 >> 1-800-487-8911
Both Uber and Lyft have in-app trip-sharing features that allow you to share live updates on your trip with friends. Just hit “Share trip status” in Uber or “Share route” in Lyft.
But this will only help if something bad happens to you (Samantha Josephson’s boyfriend was tracking her phone during her fatal ride.) If you feel uncomfortable, get out or call 911.
Make sure your phone’s location-sharing is turned on. If you call 911, the police won’t know where you are unless location-sharing is on. Both apps now have an in-app panic button to call 911.
Let the Driver Know the Trip Is Being Tracked
Make a call and tell someone that you’re on the way in an Uber or Lyft and say, “I’m just calling to let you know I’m in an Uber, and I sent you the trip, so you’ll know when I’ll get there.”
If they don’t answer or you don’t really want to call anyone, make believe you are.
The driver will be less likely to commit a crime when they know someone knows where you are.
Open the App to the 911 Assistance Screen
You can download one of the emergency 911 apps that will call 911 and report your location. But Uber has a SWIPE TO CALL 911 button in the app. Have the SWIPE TO CALL 911 button ready, in case you need it because you have to tap a few times to get to it.
- Open the Safety Toolkit
- Tap 911 Assistance
- The SWIPE TO CALL 911 button is now ready to swipe
Trust Your Instinct
If something seems “off” or “weird” about your driver, don’t get in. If you already did, get out wherever you see people or traffic. Never threaten your driver that you will call the police. Threats can only worsen the situation. Just get out or call 911 if you feel the need to threaten.
Never Make a Deal With Uber or Lyft Drivers
Never make a side deal with an Uber or Lyft driver to save money by logging out of the app. If you do that, you lose all the benefits of Uber and Lyft including safety features.
Benefits when the driver is logged in on the app:
- Uber and Lyft use GPS to follow the movement of your car. Uber and Lyft will have recorded information showing where the car was at all times including what movements the car made and when. This is valuable information if there is an accident or if you go missing.
- Uber and Lyft provide substantial insurance coverage.
When the driver is not logged in on the app:
- Uber and Lyft do not know where you are.
- Uber and Lyft do not know what movements the car makes.
- You do not get insurance from Uber or Lyft, and the driver’s personal insurance can also disclaim coverage, leaving you with no insurance coverage.
Watch Traffic When Getting In and Out of the Car
Wait until the car is out of traffic before you attempt to get in. When you get out, exit away from traffic, and make sure not to open the door in front of bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks, or pedestrians. If you open the door into oncoming traffic and cause an accident, it is called dooring.
If you were injured when opening the door of an Uber car you may be able to be compensated for your injuries, even if you were at fault.
Don’t forget, if you were injured in an Uber or Lyft accident, call the HURT-911® Uber accident lawyers in New York.
What Should I Do if I Was Assaulted by an Uber or Lyft Driver?
If you were either physically or sexually assaulted by an Uber or Lyft driver, you may not be limited by the $1,250,000 liability insurance policy. Call the HURT-911® Uber accident lawyers in New York for a free consultation.
What Should I Do if I Was in an Uber or Lyft Accident?
If you were in an Uber or Lyft accident, you may not be limited by the $1,250,000 liability insurance policy. Call the HURT-911® Uber accident lawyers in New York for a free consultation.
See why Tesla and Volvo are the safest cars to drive, from a personal injury lawyer’s perspective.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.