New York State recently passed a law that authorizes ride-sharing services to legally operate in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Ride-sharing services can be a valuable resource and have been in use all over the country for a number of years. As ride-sharing expands in Nassau, some have expressed safety concerns. For those using ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft, I offer the following safety tips
MATCH RESERVATION INFORMATION: Ride-sharing service vendors, such as Uber and Lyft, provide the customer with a photo of the driver, license plate number and the make/ model of the car reserved. Make sure the car that arrives matches this information before getting into the car.
SHARE RIDE DETAILS WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS: Most ride-sharing apps allow riders the ability to share their driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. This feature is also helpful to track your ETA and travel route.
CHECK THE DRIVER’S RATING: Another feature of ride-sharing apps is a rating system that allows riders and drivers to rate each other. Don’t forget to “review” your driver on the ride-sharing vendor app. Reviews are used to rate a driver and improve the overall ride-sharing experience.
LOOK FOR THE COMPANY EMBLEM: New York regulations require that the ride-sharing vehicle have a removable logo, insignia or emblem inside the lower right corner (passenger side) of the front windshield.
AVOID RIDING IN THE FRONT SEAT: If you are riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle and gives personal space between you and the driver.
DO NOT SHARE PERSONAL INFORMATION: There is no need to share your phone number or other personal contact information with your driver. Riders do not have to enter their home or work address as a pick-up or drop-off point; set your destination near your real destination.
DO NOT GIVE CASH: Ride-sharing service drivers are prohibited by NYS law from accepting cash. Tips are handled through interaction with the vendor’s app; do not exchange cash with a driver.
RESERVE THROUGH THE APP: Ride-sharing service drivers are also prohibited by NYS law from soliciting street hails; rides are booked exclusively through the app. Never accept a ride from a driver claiming to be with Uber or Lyft who is soliciting rides from the street.
TRUST YOUR GUT: Trust your instincts and use your best judgement when riding with ride-sharing services. Stay awake, alert, and if possible, follow along with your maps app to track the route. If you have an inkling of discomfort or sense something fishy don’t get in the car. If you are already on the road and feel you are in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.