Passenger Safety

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What does it take to be picked up safely from the passenger side of the ride share equation? The goal of this article is to help passengers plan and request rides, as well as prepare for a safe pick up and drop off for both parties. Many times this can be tricky but if we all work together, these tips will go a long way to ensuring a much more pleasant and safe experience.

Planning is important, especially when you are located in a place where there is no parking or stopping or the driver has to double park on a narrow street while waiting. Make sure you are ready to go when you request your ride as many times, the driver arrives sooner than expected. If you are inside an office or apartment building, immediately start to make your way outside to meet your driver. This is especially important if it takes a long time to get to the street. If you are in the middle of a building, it is better to request the ride once you are outside or near the front entrance as your pin will drop where you are and can sometimes confuse the navigation.

Remain where you originally requested your ride. Many times, passengers want to “make it easier for the driver” by crossing the street or moving to a different location. As drivers, we are looking for the address your request was made from, you can be easily missed when you move to a different location. This is especially important at night when it is dark, making it hard to see you. If you decide to move to a different location, either change it in the app or call/text your driver and let them know.

When requesting your ride at a place that the driver cannot stop. Consider moving to a different location and then request the ride. For instance, during rush hour traffic, move to a side street and at least 150 feet from the corner. This will allow the driver to safely stop and pick you up without blocking traffic and reduce the potential for getting a ticket. Never wait on a corner. This is a safety hazard for both you and the driver. Always move 150 feet, or more, from the corner but NOT at a bus stop. In some cities, drivers can get a ticket for stopping at a bus stop.

Don’t step into the street until the car comes to a complete stop. Many times, passengers start stepping off the curb or wait in the street when they see their driver coming. This is NEVER safe. Always wait on the curb or sidewalk until the car comes to a complete stop and it is safe to approach. If there is no curb, wait as far back as possible. Waiting between cars can result in injury if an accident occurs impacting a vehicle where you are standing. You lose time to react if you are right at the point of impact versus far enough away to move and avoid injury.

At the end of your ride, keep these safety tips in mind:
Keep your seat belt on until the car comes to a complete stop.
Don’t open the door until the car has fully stopped moving. I have had some people who were in a hurry, unbuckle and start to open the door while the car is still in motion forcing me to stop suddenly.
When exiting the car from the drivers side, make sure to check for oncoming traffic, wait for them to pass and then open the door and exit the vehicle. There are countless times when I was sure I was going to lose my rear door because a passenger would just opened the door even as I am telling them a car is coming. Please be mindful of your surroundings at all times.

Never run across a multi-lane street. If you see your driver across the street, wait for them to make their way to you. If this will take too long due to heavy traffic, move to a safe crosswalk and follow all safety protocols to cross the street safely. Be sure to communicate your intentions with the driver. I think you get the picture. Additionally, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER enter or exit a car in the middle of a multi-lane street. Your driver should never ask you to do it and you should never offer. Always make sure the car is at the curb or in a safe place for entry.

After all is said and done, the overall theme of this article is SAFETY FIRST. Whether you like it or not, many of us will ensure the safety of all parties concerned including those outside the car. Keep this in mind when you are rating your driver, following company policy or local and state laws is not a reason to give a low rating.

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