Rideshare services are extremely convenient, especially when you’re on vacation. But did you know there are real dangers associated with using them?
There’s always a risk whenever you’re in a car, but especially so when you don’t know who the driver is.
You’re entering an unknown vehicle with an equally unknown driver. Sure they have reviews and ratings, but do you feel confident placing your safety on the basis of those ratings?
Being in a taxi accident or any rideshare accident is surely terrifying. Unfortunately, this is largely out of your control once you get inside someone else’s car.
We’ll cover the risks of using rideshare services below so you can stay informed about using them on vacation!
Ridesharing is convenient on vacation
When you’re on vacation, transportation isn’t easy because you don’t have access to your car. This makes ridesharing a convenient option to help you get around.
Rideshares are services like Uber and Lyft, but you can also think of taxis, too. These are easy to use because you can request a ride directly on your smartphone. This eliminates the need to rent a car or rely on a friend to take you where you need to go. Sometimes this is your only option if you don’t know anyone in the area.
Take this convenience seriously because rideshares are not guaranteed to be safe!
Your life is in another driver’s hands
Arguably the biggest risk is that your life is in the hands of another driver.
You might be a fantastic driver yourself, but your experience and knowledge won’t do you any good when you’re not the one behind the wheel. Instead, your rideshare driver is responsible for keeping you safe. This means you need to depend on them to drive safely and legally.
This can be a daunting prospect, but sometimes it’s the only choice you have. Rideshare drivers with good ratings are usually safe drivers, but that isn’t always a perfect promise.
Theft and scamming are possible
Another risk you face is getting scammed or being a theft victim.
One aspect regarding rideshare services like Uber and Lyft is that almost anyone can sign up to be a driver. Furthermore, their registration process isn’t perfect and it leaves room for fraudsters to become a rideshare operator.
They can pick you up when you request a ride and will seem like a regular driver. Then they’ll ask for payment during the ride, which isn’t how rideshare services work.
If you’re not paying close attention or don’t know what’s going on because you’re in an unfamiliar environment, then you might fall victim to their trap. Once you give them your card information, they can use it to withdraw funds and drain your bank account.
In some situations, your driver might even take you to a sketchy area and physically rob you. This will put your life in danger and is an extremely scary scenario to be in.
You might get sick
Another possibility is that you can get sick while using rideshares.
This isn’t usually the case with taxis because they have stricter requirements about vehicle cleanliness. On the other hand, Uber and Lyft operators don’t have specific rules about how clean to keep their cars. There are recommendations about what they can do to keep their riders happy, but they aren’t physical requirements that need to be met.
That said, many rideshare drivers keep their vehicles clean because failing to do so will lead to a bad experience and poor rating.
Drivers that don’t keep their vehicles clean can make them a breeding ground for germs. If they aren’t diligent about sanitizing their vehicle, especially after riding with someone that is sick, those germs can spread and make you ill.
Solo women are at risk of being kidnapped
One final concern to be aware of applies specifically to women.
Some rideshare drivers are predators and look for women to kidnap and take advantage of. Even if a driver has great ratings, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t a dangerous person.
A malicious driver can lock the doors and prevent you from leaving. They can then take you to a location of their choice without giving you a chance to leave.
Predatory rideshare drivers tend to look for women that are drunk and easier to manipulate. This is a scary thought because rideshares are seen as a good alternative to driving while intoxicated.
Use this as another reason to keep your wits about you and never assume your safety is guaranteed.
Confirm your driver’s identity
While many rideshare operators are honest and will safely transport you to your destination, there’s still a risk whenever you step inside an unknown car.
You must verify that the car you get into matches the car shown on your rideshare app. Verify the car model and ensure that the license plate matches.
Also consider rejecting a ride from any driver that doesn’t have good ratings, especially while you’re traveling. This isn’t a perfect solution by any means, but it will rule out any new scammers looking for their first victim.
Drivers with a 5-star rating tend to be a safe choice for a ride. Even if you have a 5-star driver, make sure to stay alert and check that your driver is heading to the right location.
As convenient as rideshare services are while you’re on vacation, there’s always a risk involved with using them.
You’re placing your fate in the hands of another driver and relying on them to keep you safe. This involves the use of an unknown vehicle that might be carrying germs that can make you sick.
There’s also a possibility of being scammed or robbed by a fraudulent driver. Women need to be particularly vigilant to ensure they don’t get kidnapped by a predator.
While there’s no guaranteed way to keep yourself safe while using rideshares, make sure to verify your driver’s identity and never get in the wrong car.