How safe is it to use ride-share services?

We are glad you want to know more about ride-share services!

Ride-share services are companies (like Uber and LYFT) that allow you to order a ride using an app on your smartphone. Most ride-share companies have rules in place to keep riders safe – like background checks for drivers and rating systems. Whenever you get in a car with a stranger (driver or other passenger), especially alone, there are risks. Most rides are completed safely, but there have been reports of car accidents, physical assaults, and sexual assaults while using ride-share services.

If you use ride-share services, general car safety rules apply, like always wear your seatbelt. Riding with friends can help keep you safe, and also make the ride cheaper! Here are some other ways to stay safe:

Make sure it’s the right car and driver.

  • Check all details for your ride (license plate, make/model of the car, driver’s name/photo) before getting in. If something doesn’t match, don’t get in the car.
  • Confirm that the ride is for you. Ask, “Who are you here to pick up?”
  • Never give out your personal information (full name, phone number, address, school) to your ride-share driver.

Be alert.

  • Sit in the back seat on the passenger’s side to be aware of the driver’s actions.
  • Don’t ride alone if you are drunk or high. It is a great decision to avoid driving while drunk or high, but drugs and alcohol could affect your ability to keep yourself safe in a car with a stranger. Try getting a ride from a friend or family member instead.

Share your trip details.

  • You can use the app to share information about your trip with a parent or friend. This includes your location during your ride, so someone will know if your driver takes you to a different location or makes an unexpected stop.
  • Tell your driver you are sharing your ride. Try calling someone and saying, “Hey, I’m in my ride-share. I’ll share my ride details with you. See you soon.”

Stop your trip at any time.

  • If you don’t feel comfortable for any reason, trust your instincts. You can always end your trip, no questions asked.
  • If you are ending your trip early, please make sure you are in a location where you can safely exit the car and can safely wait for another ride. If you do not know the area well consider stopping in a well-lit crowded area.

Call for help.

  • If you are immediately concerned for your safety, please call 911 (in the US).
  • If you use a specific ride-share service frequently, get familiar with the app and its emergency options before you ride.

Remember that no one has a right to treat you badly or discriminate against you based on your race, gender identity, sexual orientation, nor any other identity. If this happens to you while using a ride-share service, rate your driver, contact the company, and talk to someone you trust (like a parent, friend, or healthcare provider).