When you use a rideshare app such as Uber or Lyft, we expect to have a safe, professional ride. However, not all drivers uphold these standards and can act in an inappropriate manner – from flirting to full-blown physical assault. If you are in a vehicle with an unprofessional driver, it is important to remain calm and to take steps to report the driver to the rideshare company.
Share Your Ride Details with Friends and Family
Both Lyft and Uber have features within their apps that allow you to share the details of your ride with trusted loved ones. By sending a link, your friends and family will be able to see who your driver is, where you are going, and what the car looks like, along with your ETA. If the driver starts making you uncomfortable, inform your friends and family.
Don’t Be Afraid to Stop the Ride
As a consumer, you have the right to stop a ride or refuse a driver at any time. If an Uber or Lyft driver comes to pick you up and he or she makes you feel uncomfortable before you get into the vehicle, walk away, cancel the ride, and call a new driver. If you notice that the driver’s rating is suspiciously low, usually under four stars, you can cancel the ride before you arrive.
If you are already in the vehicle, ask the driver to pull over in a safe location. You can pretend like you want to change your drop-off location, or you can remain blunt and tell him or her to let you out of the vehicle immediately.
Control the Conversation
You have the right to a quiet ride if you choose, and you can silence an unprofessional driver if you exercise this right. If the driver is making inappropriate comments or making you feel uncomfortable through conversation, request that the conversation end. You can tell him or her that you have some work emails to respond to and need some silence, or you can ask if the driver could turn on the radio. You can also be direct and say that you would prefer a quiet ride.
Verify Your Ride Details Before You Get In
Both Uber and Lyft give you the details of your driver before you ride, including the driver’s name and picture, the vehicle make and model, and the license plate number. Before you get into a rideshare vehicle, double-check that the car is, in fact, your ride. Many people have reported fake Uber or Lyft drivers trying to post as their rides – to avoid falling victim to this scam, check the details before you ride.
Sit in the Back Seat
The less access an unprofessional Uber driver has to you, the easier it is to stay safe in an uncomfortable situation. Do not sit in the front seat of a rideshare vehicle; instead, choose the back seat. By sitting away from the driver, he or she cannot touch you or physically assault you.
Call 911 If You Are in Danger
If an Uber or Lyft driver is making you feel extremely uncomfortable and you believe that you are in danger, call 911 immediately. You can download panic button apps to notify law enforcement to your location if you do not feel safe enough to call. Lyft has also recently added an in-app panic button that you can use to inform law enforcement of a dangerous driver. It is better to remain safe than to put your life at risk; if you believe a driver is about to harm you, contact law enforcement as soon as possible.
If you are in a vehicle with a rideshare driver who is acting in an inappropriate or unprofessional way, remain calm and protect yourself. Once you are safely away from the driver and the vehicle, report him or her to the company. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be eligible to collect financial compensation through a lawsuit in civil court. Contact a rideshare attorney to discuss your legal options.