Rideshare services like Uber, DiDi and Ola can be convenient and easy to use, yet still pose the same risks as getting in a car with a stranger.
Whether you’re traveling close to home, or to an unfamiliar destination, there are safety measures you should keep in mind to help you avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Read on for our Uber safety tips to help keep you safe before, during and even after your trip.
Uber Safety Tips in Australia
- Double check your driver and the car’s details – before getting in your ride, check that the car and license plate match the details you were given in your app and check the driver’s photo. Before entering the vehicle, ask the driver for the name of the passenger they’re waiting for before revealing your name.
- Wondering where to sit in an Uber? – Avoid the front seat. Riding in the back seat gives you distance from the driver and the ability to exit the car if you need to avoid a dangerous situation.
- Always wear your seatbelt – Always wear a seatbelt for your safety and to avoid penalties for not wearing one as a passenger.
- Travel in groups where possible – the old saying, “safety in numbers” rings true in these situations, especially if passengers are intoxicated. If you are travelling alone make sure you tell a friend or family member when you’re getting picked up and the end destination (as well as what time you expect to arrive). If you feel uneasy during the trip, give them a call and chat while you travel.
- Follow along with your own GPS – You can use your phone’s maps app to check that the driver is using the most efficient route and more importantly taking you to your desired destination.
- Tracking feature – many rideshare services provide a tracking feature for added safety for their customers. Tracking functions can let your loved ones know exactly where you are on your journey and that you have arrived safely.
- Give feedback – make sure you rate your driver and leave helpful and honest feedback. This step is often skipped, but is an important part of rideshare safety as it will ensure good drivers stay on the roads and prevent bad ones from getting more work.
Uber safety statistics in Australia
Uber has been criticised for its safety record after recent findings revealed that the rideshare service failed to report more than 500 serious incidents.
For over 18 months, reports of sexual assaults and crashes that hospitalised people were made against the rideshare conglomerate. In another Australian audit, Uber was found to have:
- failed to ensure its drivers were adequately completing their online training requirements;
- allowed drivers to work extreme hours (including shifts of up to 17 hours); and
- allowed drivers with multiple complaints of distracted or drowsy driving to stay on the road.
Despite these safety concerns, rideshare services surge in popularity during busy periods like Friday and Saturday night, as well as holidays like Christmas and New Year's. Before using your next rideshare service, make sure you know these safety tips to help get you home safely.
What to do if you're involved in an accident as a passenger in an Uber or other rideshare vehicle?
If you are involved in a crash while you're a passenger in a rideshare car, you should:
- Seek medical attention as soon as possible for any injuries. Your wellbeing is the most important factor after an accident.
- Gather identification information from your driver and other drivers involved in the crash. This should include their full name, vehicle registration and the name of their compulsory third party insurer. If possible and safe to do so, take a photograph of their licence and vehicle, including the rideshare logo sticker.
- Report the accident – contact police and report the incident.
Shine Lawyers – we’re here to help
If you have been injured as a passenger in an Uber, DiDi, Ola or other rideshare service, Shine Lawyers may be able to help.
You may also be eligible to access benefits through your superannuation; our team will provide tailored advice to help you seek the best outcome.
To get started, use our free online claim checker below or speak to one of our experts over the phone.
Written by Shine Lawyers. Last modified: December 9, 2021.