To mitigate instances of injuries and assault due to accidents and attacks by drivers while using Uber, Uber’s app and platform now include a number of safety features. Some are accessible by drivers, some by riders, and others by both, but all are meant to keep riders as safe as possible. The following are some of the most important Uber safety features and what you need to do to activate them.
Each Uber ride starts with a pick-up point and destination established by the rider. If the platform detects a longer-than-usual stop, or a stop somewhere off the recognized route, it contacts both the driver and the rider through the app to ask if everything is okay. If not, Uber will put in a call for emergency services to be deployed at the scene.
If a driver or rider needs to proactively call for emergency help, they can do so with an emergency services button on the app. It's location-aware, so the caller doesn’t need to know exactly where they are.
The driver version of Uber includes an alert for drivers if they go over the speed limit. As a rider, you don’t have access to this feature, but you can be assured that drivers have an extra little reminder to drive at a safe speed.
After a ride is complete, Uber deletes all location information about the rider, so the driver can no longer see it. This includes pick-up and drop-off addresses.
Again, this feature isn’t something you have access to as a rider, but you can be secure in the knowledge that drivers don’t have this information stored for future use.
Using the share status feature within the Uber app, riders can share their trip details with up to five friends, including information about the driver and their current location. When utilized, friends can track your trip and estimated time of arrival, regardless of whether or not they have the Uber app.
Uber conducts criminal and motor vehicle checks each year in every location, not just those where it’s required by law. In addition, the company is notified when drivers are involved in criminal arrests. According to Uber, “Background checks are performed by Checkr, Inc., a third party background check provider that is accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners.”
As many safety features as Uber may implement, remember you also need to do your part to ensure your own safety when using the service as well. Here are some additional safety tips:
- If possible, wait for your ride indoors, and only step outside once the car has arrived.
- Before you get in the car, make sure all the details, including the driver and car, match the information on your app.
- If riding alone, sit in the back seat of the car.
- As you would in your own car, always use your seatbelt.
- Tell friends, family, or coworkers what time you expect to arrive at your destination.
- If you ever feel unsafe, take action. Don’t get in the car, call for help, or ask the driver to drop you off early.
- Always use the rating system to tell Uber what you liked and didn’t like about each driver after your ride.