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How to stay safe when using rideshare apps

Posted at 7:36 PM, Apr 01, 2019

INDIANAPOLIS — After a University of South Carolina student made a deadly mistake of getting into the wrong car on Friday - thinking it was her Uber driver - there are questions about riders safety when using rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft.

Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are easy to use. Within minutes a driver arrives to pick you up and take you to your destination.

"It's pretty convenient because if I am at an event, I can park far and catch Uber to where I need to go," Paul Singh, who uses both Uber and Lyft, said.

It's important to take the right steps in keeping yourself safe, especially as the two apps become increasingly popular.

"Personally, I would check on the app how it says what car you're going to be in. Look for that, and always make sure I am looking for the Uber or Lyft sign," Missy Rhodes, who uses both Uber and Lyft, said. "I know it can be confusing, especially if you don't know exactly what the car is. I am always double checking."

Rhodes also said that she makes sure the license plate number on the app and the physical car match. She makes sure the make, model and color match as well.

Once you're on the ride, there's a feature you can use in the Uber app called "share your status." That way, your friends know exactly where you are. They can see a photo of the driver and their license plate number.

After hearing about what happened to the USC student, people told RTV6 these safety steps are ones they will now always make sure they take.

"I just think it's pretty unfortunate people need to make sure they are going into the right car," Rhodes said. "I have been in similar situations... It's really scary to think about, that something that tragic can happen."

Uber and Lyft require drivers to go through background checks and motor vehicle record checks, but even with that, some people aren't convinced it's safe.

Before getting in the car, the two details riders always need to check are that the driver and the vehicle match the description on your app.

Another step to take is to ask the driver when they arrive who they are there for - they should know your name and information. If it doesn't match, don't get into the car, go to a safe place and wait for the right vehicle.