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Do You Feel Safe When Ridesharing?

Recently a Lyft driver in the Richmond, Virginia, area was arrested for sexually abusing a rider. The victim went to a local hospital, saying that she had been sexually attacked by her Lyft driver earlier.
Do you do anything to protect yourself while ridesharing? Because both Uber and Lyft have had drivers accused of abusing riders, it has been recommended that riders make sure that they enter the right vehicle by exchanging names. The rider should ask, “Who are you picking up?” Asking the driver if [your name] is who the driver is picking up will get a positive response if you have the correct driver, but it will also get the same acknowledgement if the driver is the wrong one and has bad ulterior motives towards you.
There is, nevertheless, more that you can and should do. Both Uber and Lyft (and probably any upstart competition) have photos of the driver, as well as the make and model of their car and license plate. If something doesn’t match, beware! Apps also have a button to notify 911. If you aren’t familiar with it, find out. The vehicles are also tracked by GPS. You can cancel the ride you have bad vibes from your driver.
Though these are simple basic steps to take, I believe there is more one can do to protect oneself. When requesting a ride, ensure you are being picked up in a safe area; you can also share your location with someone. It may also be a good idea to have yourself dropped off at a location close to your destination; don’t go to the correct address until the driver has left.
Some drivers may offer food or water, and it will be safe the vast majority of the time, but it could have been tampered with.
Some think sitting on the right side of the back seat is safest, as it is the farthest from the driver, but I believe sitting behind the driver may be the better choice, as it is harder for the driver to reach for you there.
Strong eye contact with the driver can also help. You can carry a tool or improvise one. There are tools available for purchase at good prices. Stun guns are one such option; pepper spray is another. Both are well-known and readily available. Most stun guns today also have built-in flashlights.
Many pepper sprays can be attached to your keychain. There are also personal alarms that can be attached to your keychain.
Other items can enhance your arsenal of protection. These are the most basic examples.

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