Ridesharing safety at the forefront after murder of college student

Ride sharing safety at the forefront after murder of college student

The safety of ridesharing users, especially women, has been a topic of concern lately after a University of South Carolina student was murdered by a man allegedly posing as her Uber driver. Last weekend 21-year-old Samantha Josephson got into a car that she thought was her Uber. Instead, the man who picked her up had no affiliation with Uber and is accused of stabbing her to death and leaving her body in a wooded area. While the tragedy that befell Ms. Josephson may be the most high-profile incident of assailants posing as Uber drivers it is unfortunately far from the first.

The New York Times has collected a number of incidents that happened to female passengers who thought they were getting into Ubers or Lyfts before being assaulted by the driver. In some instances, their attackers had the sticker in their car windows in order to make it appear as if the attacker was a legitimate driver. These phony rideshare drivers tend to lurk around places where most rideshare services are requested such as bars and hotels. At one point in 2017, Uber even had to issue a statement warning customers about people posing as their drivers.

If you’ve never used one of these services before you download the app of whichever service you want to use. The service requires you to upload a picture of yourself so the driver can recognize you and also for their safety. Conversely, the passenger will receive a profile of their driver that includes their name, what make and model of car they’re driving, their picture, and their license plate number. When your service arrives, make sure the driver tells you who they’re supposed to pick up and if they don’t know your name that’s a red flag not to get into the car. It’s also recommended that you message someone trusted that you’re about to get into an Uber or Lyft. Above all else, if you ever feel unsafe for any reason ask your driver to stop and if they won’t don’t hesitate to call 911.