Ensure your safety on your when driving with Uber

Many Uber customers have been concerned for their safety, after a woman was kidnapped and raped after getting into what she thought to be an Uber Taxi outside of Montecasino last week.

Facebook posts had stated that two men were allegedly lying down in the back of the car, had tied her up, locked her in the boot, driven her to an ATM where she was assaulted and forced to withdraw money. She was then taken to a veld and raped.

Uber spokesperson Samantha Allenburg responds, “This is a despicable crime and first and foremost our thoughts are with the victim and her family. We are in open dialogue with the family and have offered our full support. We stand ready to assist law enforcement in any way we can to bring this crime to justice.”

Uber urges riders to take note of the following services before, during and after every ride for their own security:

Know your driver:  the Uber app provides riders with the details of their driver-partner as soon as the rider accepts a trip, so that riders can verify their driver-partner is indeed the same-driver-partner that accepted their request via the app. Riders need to ensure the driver’s name, photo, vehicle type and license number plate coincides with the information provided on the app.

Track your trip: Riders need to make use of Uber’s GPS features that allow them to track their trip by viewing the route on the map in the app. From the moment the ride is requested, the rider is able to track the vehicle on route to being fetched. The GPS features also allow riders to know exactly where they are headed and that they’re on the right track. This means that  Uber can verify that the most efficient routes are being used.

Share your ETA: Riders are encouraged to share their ETA (estimated time of arrival) and location with a friend or a loved one.  This is easily done via the app and can be shared with anyone, without the friend or family member ever needing to download the Uber app themselves. Friends or family will receive a link where they can see in real time, the name and photo of the driver-partner, their vehicle, and where on the map the rider is, until they’ve arrived at their destination.

24/7 Support: Uber’s customer support staff are ready to assist with any queries, whether it be an inefficient route or a traffic accident. Riders can contact the support team 24/7.

Feedback: Riders and driver-partners rate each other after each trip. This allows riders to see their driver’s current rating before getting into the vehicle. It gives Uber the opportunity to query negative feedback as this helps driver-partners keep their standards high and helps Uber address or rectify any concerns.

Uber provided the following additional safety tips:

  • Charge your phone: ensure that your phone is charged in order to see your driver’s details and track your trip while on the ride. If your phone battery is low and likely to die on the trip, make use of friends or family member’s phone to login into your Uber account and share your ETA with a friend or loved one.
  • Don’t unnecessarily share your details: Uber has implemented an anonymous contact system to ensure riders and driver-partners don’t need to share their personal information. Riders and drivers can contact each other at any time through the app.