When you leave for a business trip, do you expect everything to go smoothly? With the cost of car rentals going up, many entrepreneurs use rideshare apps to get to business meetings, and while they’re convenient, they pose a safety risk.
Below are ways you can stay safe during business travel.
1. Call and wait for your driver inside.
When you schedule the ride with either Lyft or Uber, the app lets you see when they arrive. Knowing their arrival time allows you to wait inside until they get there. When waiting inside, make sure you are in a place where you feel comfortable. If you feel unsafe in your surroundings, you need to find another place before scheduling the ride.
There are a few reasons you should wait inside. If you are outside, it may leave you vulnerable to theft. There are cases where a driver pulls up and asks if the person was waiting for a ride. If the individual is not paying attention, they may get inside.
2. Check the driver’s rating.
While waiting for your driver, check their ratings to make sure they are a safe ride. In contrast, most rideshare companies will not allow drivers below a particular rating to drive for them. But it takes time for the companies to notice the drivers’ scores. If you are uncomfortable with their rating, cancel your ride.
Low ratings may not mean that the driver is unsafe; they let you know if the driver is competent at their job, if they’re conversational, and just the overall riding experience. When you are on a business trip, you have scheduled meetings, lunches, and conferences. You do not want a lousy rideshare driver disrupting your schedule.
3. Inform your company and family about your plans.
When scheduling a rideshare pick up, you can share your location with your company or family. The individual will receive notifications of where you are and when you arrive at your destination. Sharing your location with multiple people is an excellent way to help keep yourself safe just in case you are in an accident or assaulted. No one gets into a car expecting the worst, but there are simple steps you can take to help keep yourself safe.
4. Verify that the person is your driver.
You can quickly look at the license plate to ensure that the plate matches the one shown on the app. After you verify the plate, ask the driver for your name and then his name. You never want to get into the car without the driver confirming his name and your name. Do not get into the car either if the make, model, and plate number do not match what is on the app.
5. Inform your driver that you are sharing your location.
Most criminals look for an easy target. If the driver is aware that you have safety precautions in place, they are less likely to try to assault you in any way. In June of 2021, a Lyft driver allegedly sexually assaulted a young man on his way home from school. In 2019 there were over 3,000 complaints reported of unjust treatment.
6. Sit in the back seat.
Do not sit up front during a rideshare. This seat can leave you vulnerable to unwanted touching or sexual advances. Riding in the back seat on the passenger side can help keep you safe in case of an accident, and you can also exit the vehicle safely.
If the unthinkable does happen and you are sexually assaulted, or in an accident, the first thing you should do is go to the hospital to make sure you are okay. Call the authorities and then call an attorney. An attorney will help you navigate the legal system and listen to you.
When you are out of town on business, you expect to get through the trip and get home. Usually, this is the case. But there are times when things are out of your control, and you are in an accident or assaulted. In times like these, you need someone you can trust by your side.