The tragic murder of a University of South Carolina student, Samantha Josephson, has put into perspective the importance of safety in the new digital age. Around 2a.m. on Friday morning Josephson waited outside on a curb for her Uber ride. After climbing into a black Chevy Impala Josephson was found dead 14 hours later, 90 miles away from her original location.
Police have arrested the alleged killer, Nathaniel David Rowland, whose Impala reportedly contained mass amounts of blood, bleach, and germicidal wipes. Josephson, a political science major, had split off from her group of friends early Friday morning after leaving a popular bar in the area. Later that morning her friends began to worry about her absence and reported her missing.
As Josephson’s friends and family mourn her loss the public concern for safety, especially with car sharing apps has increased tremendously. In an interview conducted by PEOPLE magazine with automotive expert Lauren Fix, Fix provides various examples that can make your next Uber trip safer. Along with Uber’s online safety tips, increase your feelings of security by doing the following.
Ask The Driver Who They’re Waiting For
“Never ask, ‘Are you my ride?,'” Fix told PEOPLE. Ask the driver who they’re waiting for instead of asking, “Uber” or offering your name first. Do this before getting into the vehicle. Without knowing you, this ensures that your driver recognizes you as their assigned customer.
Check The License Plate, Car Model, And Driver’s Photo
Writing safety tips for Uber users on their website, Law Enforcement Liason Wade Stormer says, “One key way is to double check two important details before starting a trip – the driver and the car. When requesting a trip through the Uber app, you receive the driver’s photo, name, the car make/model and license plate number.” Before stepping into the vehicle, ensure that all of these distinctions match.
Request Your Ride Inside
Request and wait for your ride indoors, before making your way outside to the curb. A list of riding safety tips provided by Uber suggests users do this before leaving their current location.
Share Your Trip Details With A Friend
While on their trip Uber users have the option to “Share Status” with a friend or family, whether they have the app downloaded or not. Sharing your location through your smartphone and keeping in contact with others during your ride is another way to ensure safety.
Ride In The Backseat
Always opt for the backseat when taking a trip with Uber. As the Uber website says, this allows you to exit the vehicle on the opposite side of the driver and out of ongoing traffic.