If you’ve ever watched internet videos of scary Uber rides, then you know that the ride-share economy can be a real jungle.
In fact, it can actually be high-key dangerous if you don’t know how to minimize risk and watch your back.
Not very many years ago, most people would have shuddered at the idea of just picking up random strangers and letting them into their car.
Nowadays, by contrast, there are tons of rideshare drivers running around earning money doing exactly that.
And the truth of the matter is that you really have no idea who you’re letting into your car when you pick someone up for an Uber ride.
Driving for Uber can be a dangerous gig due to several reasons.
Firstly, it involves interacting with strangers who may behave unpredictably or even violently.
Secondly, drivers often work long hours and may be prone to fatigue, which can impair their driving ability.
Finally, they may have to navigate unfamiliar or high-crime areas, which increases the risk of accidents or crime.
So how can you protect yourself and stay safe while driving for a rideshare service like Uber?
This is a really good question.
Let’s dive into it and share our top five tips for how to make it happen.
- Only Pick Up Verified Riders
This isn’t to say that verified Uber riders can’t be creepy or dangerous.
However, picking up people who actually match up with the description and name you have on the app is a lot less dangerous than picking up completely random people who you don’t recognize at all.
Always double-check and make sure that the person getting into your car is actually the person who reserved the ride and paid the fee.
This can help to save you not only from giving away free rides, but also from potentially letting someone dangerous into your car.
- Follow The App Rules
Uber has some guidelines set in place that are intended to help keep you safe while driving for them.
Following the app guidelines and familiarizing yourself with the rules of the app can do a lot to help you stay safe—even in these relatively dangerous times.
- Trust Your Gut
The truth of the matter is that, even as a driver, you could always cancel or abort the ride for any reason.
True, there’s always a risk that the rider may leave negative feedback. But this is definitely better than continuing to stay in a dangerous situation.
For example, if someone starts to get in the Uber and says something that just rubs you the wrong way, or that makes you believe deep in your instincts that there might be danger or weirdness going on—it’s always better to trust your instincts and to decline the ride in the spirit of getting yourself to safety.
Your peace of mind is also worth a lot. Don’t forget that sometimes in this age of rideshare services, people feel obligated to give strangers rides, even if it’s uncomfortable to do so (because they need the money or are afraid of negative reviews).
But this should never be the focus.
You should always focus on feeling safe and maintaining your own healthy boundaries.
- Exercise Your Right To Say No
Sometimes, you’ll get weird requests from your riders.
Some drivers feel obligated to oblige even some of the weirder requests out of fear of getting a negative review.
But once again, this is not functional.
And this was never what rideshare apps were intended to do.
Always remember that you have the right to say ‘no’ and to exercise this right liberally.
Your safety and your boundaries certainly aren’t worth one more positive review, especially if the review comes at the cost of you compromising on your safety or your own standards and boundaries.
- Familiarize Yourself With The App Safety Features
One of the great things about Uber is that they’ve packed a lot of safety features into their app.
And the best course of action is always to familiarize yourself with these features so that you can take action when something questionable happens.
With that being said, if you don’t understand the app features, you won’t be able to use them.
So make sure to familiarize yourself with all of the advanced safety features that the Uber app has to offer.
There you have it.
Five practical tips for minimizing risk as an Uber driver—regardless of whether you’re delivering people or food.
In fact, Selfgood probably said it best:
“Working with a food delivery service isn’t always the easiest job.”
But equipped with these steps, you should be able to facilitate your Uber side gig with safety and peace of mind.
Just remember, no ride is worth you compromising on feeling safe.
So always exercise your right to say ‘no’ and to bounce if things feel weird.