Let’s face it, you surrender a little control to another person anytime you enter a cab, or a ridesharing bike booked through Uber or other services or even anything driven by someone else. Often that person is completely unknown to you, so it’s important to think carefully about your safety while travelling through ridesharing services.
On the other hand, many ridesharing drivers are good sources of information about current affairs, restaurants and hotels. Taxi drivers are often experts on safe and unsafe neighbourhoods and what threats may lurk at your hotel or destination.
Many cab drivers are also great to talk with and gives you an opportunity to hone your language skills. Still, be careful with over-sharing because they may pass the information on to someone else who does not have your best interests at heart. Here are a few precautions you should take while taking a rideshare in a cab or a bike:
For Car Ride Sharing:
- When travelling late at night (after an amazing party or from the airport), early mornings or to some remote place, please make it a routine to share your cab details with a family member or a friend who can track you until you reach the destination. Making sure you have access to an SOS button as well. It is tested to work.
- Ensure you know the roads the cab driver is taking. Even if you are unsure about the roads, open and check the route to your destination on google maps or the ridesharing app to make sure the driver doesn’t take unnecessary diversions.
- Keep your cell phone charged before ridesharing so that phone does not run out of battery. You may have to use it to call in case of emergency, track the driver’s details or pay him through UPI apps.
- Don’t wear premium jewellery ( chains, bracelets, rings) or carry huge amounts of cash. You never know when a thief may try to snatch your precious things at a signal or a stopping.
- Carry some denominations of Re1 and Rs2, 5, 10, 20 and 50. Our Indian drivers usually don’t receive change and hence it may be a hassle as well as a wastage of time hunting to get change when you can’t give them the exact amount of money.
- Please check if the cab has child locks. If yes, try booking a new book cab or take the front seat.
- When travelling alone at night or any remote place, never fall asleep. Try calling your friend or someone to keep yourself awake. If you are sleepy before boarding the cab, relax or take rest before booking the cab.
- If you’ve had too much to drink, it may seem like the right decision to get a cab – and it is, with someone else. If you’re drunk, the ride in the cab may put you to sleep. The drink may also put you into a semi-conscious state – not the best circumstance to defend yourself from the driver, a partner the driver called, or anyone else who wants to harm you. If you’re drunk and need a ride, take a non-drunk buddy along with you and stay awake during the ride.
- Never enter a cab with someone else in the passenger seat. No matter what the reason they’re there, it can mean no good for you and it’s commonly a way that travellers get robbed, kidnapped, raped, and murdered.
- Don’t show to the driver that you are completely new to the place(if you are, of course!) and does not know anything. Get a fair knowledge of the places you want to visit and the approximate time it will take to reach the place. Otherwise, the driver will take long routes to the place and the fare will be high. You can keep the map of the city for reference.
- Ensure you always get a booking SMS from Uber after requesting a cab. Sometimes there may be scams and SMS is the best way to confirm they are your driver. Also, the driver will ask for an OTP from your phone. This is a very important step to confirm that he is your ride.
- Most people get ripped off by the drivers in the name of waiting charges. Usually, if the waiting time is less than 30 minutes, they won’t charge. So, discuss the waiting time charges with the driver prior to the travel.
- Always know how much it will cost before starting your ride. Drivers may tend to tell the amount somewhat extra and hence it is necessary for you to confirm it before even starting the ride.
- Check if the driver has a good rating on the ridesharing app. If he has a low rating, chances are, he may be a rude person or doesn’t ride properly. It is best not to travel with such drivers.
For Bike Ride Sharing:
- Before boarding a bike from a ridesharing service like Rapido, the driver should offer you a pillion helmet. If not, demand one and get it from him. It’s against the law for bike taxis not to give their passenger a helmet.
- Every time you take a trip with a rideshare bike, please make sure you’re getting into the right bike with the right driver by matching the license plate, car make and model, and driver photo with what’s provided in your app. Since there are many bikes on the road, you don’t want to get into an unknown vehicle.
- It is better to pay through UPI apps beforehand than through cash after the trip. Drivers tend to cheat people by telling rates a little high.
- Direct the rider if you know the route. The rider may take a long route and may waste your time.
- Ensure you give feedback to the rider if you didn’t like the ride. The ridesharing apps will appreciate the feedback and make sure the improvements are made.