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Rideshare safety is common sense, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office says

After a college student was found dead after getting into a car she thought was her Uber ride,...
After a college student was found dead after getting into a car she thought was her Uber ride, one Uber driver says it's important now more than ever to practice safety.
Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 1:39 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A misunderstanding between a Lyft driver and a client has prompted the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office to offer some basic suggestions to stay safe when using a rideshare service.

On June 8, deputies received a call from a Lyft client who told them she had a bad experience the day before, alleging the ride was suspicious in nature and that she was in fear.

Detectives contacted the Lyft driver, who cooperated, disclosed that with his passenger in the car, he stopped for a short time at a gas station before continuing drive.

However, after getting off Interstate 75, the passenger asked to get out of the car. The driver stopped and put the car in park so that the rear doors would unlock, and all his occupants got out of the vehicle. He explained his vehicle’s safety features require it to be placed in park to allow back seat passengers to exit and wanted to ensure the passengers safety by stopping in a safe location.

Investigators concluded that the driver did not prevent the passengers from exiting the vehicle at any point and it was determined that no crime had occurred.

The sheriff’s office encourages anyone utilizing rideshare services to follow a few safety tips:

  • Always ask “What’s my name?” Never get into a vehicle unless the driver can identify your by name. If they’re your actual driver they will know your first name and destination.
  • Verify the car and driver. You must match the make, model, and license plate of the car to what’s listed in the app. Make sure their personal appearance also matches the driver profile.
  • Use trip-sharing features. Both major rideshare companies offer the ability to “Share trip status” or “Share Route” with trusted family and friends.
  • Choose where to sit wisely. It is safer to sit in the back seat of the car because it creates two possible exits and increases space between you and the driver.
  • Trust your gut. If at any point something seems “off” about your ride or driver, speak up and ask to end the ride at a safe location.

We encourage all passengers and drivers to call when you can or text 911 when help is needed.

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