While using ride-sharing services like Uber or Lyft may be convenient to get to class, around town or home after a late evening out, there are some safety tips you need to keep in mind before you take that ride.
Before the Ride
— Request rides only through the official app.
— Wait for your ride in a safe place. Stay inside until the app alerts you that your ride has arrived.
— Plan to be picked up in a safe, well-lit area.
— The driver should know your name. Never get into a car with a driver who can’t identify you by name.
— Verify the make, model and license plate of the car with what’s listed in the app. Never get into a car you have not requested and cannot verify just because they say they work for a ride-hailing company.
— Consider sharing your trip with others. There’s safety in numbers. If you have to travel alone, consider using the carpool option if available.
— Share your ride details with someone you trust. Most ride-hailing services offer ETA or status-sharing opportunities. If that’s not available, snap a photo, and send it to a personal contact to let them know your plans.
During the Ride
— Sit in the back seat, and always wear your seatbelt.
— Track yourself by using the ride-hailing app or a map on your mobile phone.
— Let the driver know that people are looking out for you. Make a phone call to a friend or family member and tell them you are in your ride. If you don’t want to call someone at an odd hour, pretend to make the call, and leave yourself a voice memo.
— Keep the UA Safety app open on your phone. With one push of a button, you can immediately call 911, University Police or Tuscaloosa Police.
— Protect your private information by not sharing too many personal details with the driver.
— Don’t distract the driver by listening to loud music or using the flash on your phone’s camera.
— Never ask a driver to do anything dangerous like speed or run traffic lights.
— Trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem right about your driver or the ride, phone 911.
After the Ride
— Exit the car away from traffic and in a well-lit area.
— Rate your driver. Share anything that concerned you about the driver or the experience, so the company can take action if needed.
So, when is the next test of the UA Alert system?
Weather permitting, the University will test its emergency notification systems, including UA Alerts, the public address system and digital signage Wednesday, Mar. 3, at 11:55 a.m.
Shane Dorrill, UA communications, email@example.com