The use of ride hailing apps, such as Bolt and Uber, is becoming increasingly popular against the traditional means of transportation in our society today.
The various advantages associated with these ride hailing apps have made people especially youths see it as the preferred alternative that saves them from the stress associated with the traditional transport system.
As always, there are two sides to a coin. Ride hailing apps have also been infiltrated by criminals elements who use it for crimes.
In order to ensure your safety when next you board a ride, below are safety tips to observe when boarding a ride on ride hailing apps.
1. Check if the plate number of the car and other descriptions correspond
Whenever you order a ride on any of the ride hailing apps, ensure you check if the details provided by your app about your ride correspond before boarding the ride no matter how urgent it is for you to get to your destination.
The Uber app for instance provides you with information such as the first name of your driver, vehicle type, and licence plate number.
In cases where the information provided by your app doesn’t match with the description of the ride at your location, it is best you cancel the trip as your safety is paramount.
2. Confirm the name and picture of your driver
Whenever your driver arrives, another safety tip to observe is to ask for the name of your driver and in case you use a ride hailing app like Bolt where the picture of the driver is displayed on the app, you can check to see if the face corresponds.
Do not make the mistake of mentioning the name of the driver first to the person in your assigned ride. Rather you should ask for their name and see if the name they mention corresponds with that which is displayed on your app.
However, some ride hailing apps like Lyft do not display the pictures of their driver. They alternatively display the picture of the car. So once you request a ride and you’re paired with a driver, you’ll see a picture of their vehicle in the app. The image in the app is an icon matching the make, model, year, and colour of your driver’s vehicle.
If your driver’s vehicle is different from what’s pictured in the app, you are advised to cancel the ride.
Check out the list of ride hailing companies in Nigeria.
3. Share your ride details with a friend or relative
For security reasons, another safety tip is to share your ride details with a friend or relative on WhatsApp or any other social media platform so they can be able to track the journey and your location per time.
For a ride hailing app such as Uber, you’re able to tap “Share status” to share your driver’s name, photo, license plate and location with a friend or family member.
You can also turn on the location of your phone and share the details with a friend or family member so you can be tracked in case of an unforeseen situation.
4. Sit at a location where you can quickly reach out for help
When next you take a ride on any of the ride hailing apps, always sit where you can quickly reach out for help in case of an emergency. That will be close to the door and at the back seat.
You can also learn some defensive skills just in a bid to defend yourself when the need arises. For ladies, you can alternatively carry a pepper spray with you.
5. Avoid sleeping
Although nature can’t be cheated, but in order to ensure your safety when on a ride please do not fall asleep. Some individuals have fallen victim of criminal elements in the guise of drivers on the ride hailing apps because they fell asleep.
If you feel sleepy when on a ride, you can do things such as snacking, playing mobile games, chewing gum, and so on in a bid to keep you awake till you get to your destination.
6. Avoid revealing your identity
Whenever you board a ride, avoid showing any means of identification to the rider or trying to familiarise yourself with them. This is because when some drivers know your identity either through the display of your ID card or through your conversation with them, they can decide to outsmart or exploit you.
7. Be respectful and dress responsibly
Although the decision on how you dress is solely a personal one but it is advised you dress moderately whenever you board a ride on any of the ride hailing apps. This especially for ladies is to avoid flirting and in some unpleasant situations, rape.
You should also be respectful to whosoever is your driver regardless of the difference in age or social status.
The list of safety tips to observe when you board a ride on any of the ride hailing apps is inexhaustible but the few shared will go a long way in ensuring your safety when next you board a ride on any of the ride hailing apps.
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