Have you considered riding with UberX car service to save cash?
Or thought about joining UberX as a driver to earn side money?
You’re not alone. Tons of people are doing it.
Uber employs hundreds of thousands of drivers, sales quadruple each year, and it’s worth $18 billion. Not bad for a start-up app launched just 4 years ago with luxury cars and SUVs branded as “everyone’s private driver.”
I considered the idea of joining Uber as a driver for extra money when the UberX platform opened – a lower-cost option where riders hire drivers of regular cars for travel.
After all, it’s so convenient.
Only a background check with no marketing, start-up costs, or extra leg work necessary. Plus I would be offering a service for others like myself who live a frugal lifestyle.
A win, win.
But is it safe?
I was briefly dissuaded from the idea by recent incidents involving Uber participants. The claims of harassment, stalking, rape, and even death at the hands of Uber users are enough to make anyone reconsider.
Like any other encounter with a complete stranger there’s a potential for danger. However I’m not one to hide behind fears and you shouldn’t either.
So here are 4 ways to stay safe out there when using Uber as a passenger or driver.
4 Safety Tips for Uber Users
Plan Ahead – I watch enough Dateline and 48 Hours to know that trouble happens when you don’t plan ahead and alert people of your whereabouts. Don’t go on a pick-up or hired ride without telling a close friend or family member where you’re headed.
Take planning one step further as a rider and try organizing your outings in advance with a buddy. The buddy system is a tried and true method in keeping safe.
Check Your Attitude – There’s no room for squabble with someone you don’t know. You have no idea what a stranger is capable of in an argument. In one reported Uber incident a disagreement between a passenger and driver escalated into physical altercation.
Just ask yourself – is the argument worth your safety?
Probably not. Choose your battles when driving others and riding with Uber to avoid unnecessary confrontation. You can always report an issue after the trip.
Bring a Handy Dandy Notebook Smartphone – Do you have a photographic memory? I don’t either. As a rider it makes sense to take a photo or note of your driver’s license plate as an extra safety measure. Then send that information to someone before you head out.
For service providers, customer notes are invaluable. I’ve worked in the industry and detailed notes of each customer encounter will help you if claims are made. Keep of track details to jog your memory about each passenger you come into contact with just in case you have to recall information.
Don’t Trust the Process 100% – Keep your guard up. Although Uber promotes their rigorous background check process slip ups occur. In the same reported disagreement incident from above it was discovered that the driver had passed the screening process with past offences that were against Uber protocol.
So be cynical. Don’t put all of your trust in the process because your driver or passenger is still a stranger. Instead trust your instinct and be cautious of red flags that become apparent during your ride.
Now over to you! Have you used UberX as a driver or passenger? Do you have any advice to stay safe while using the service?
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