Community Issues

Stay Safe Using Uber and Lyft with These Tips

Importance of safety reinforced after South Carolina student's death.

Rideshare apps, including Uber and Lyft, have become an incredibly popular way to get a ride across town, a trip to the airport or a "designated driver" after a night out. But the tragedy in South Carolina reinforces the importance of taking proper safety measures when hailing a ride.

WIS News in Columbia, SC reports 21-year-old Samantha Josephson was waiting for an Uber after 2 a.m. Friday morning, when the University of South Carolina student was then seen on security tapes getting into a dark car . Police say Josephson mistook the car for her Uber. Her body was found Friday afternoon in a wooded area nearly 70 miles away. A 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with homicide in her death.

21-year-old Samantha Josephson was found dead Friday afternoon. Police say she mistook the suspect's car for an Uber. Source: Columbia P.D.

The heart-breaking story is also a reminder that there are steps you can take to protect yourself when using a rideshare service. According to Uber's website, before you get in a car, confirm the license plate, driver photo and driver's name all match the information on the app . It is safer to wait inside a location for a ride, and you should let the driver introduce him or herself first, instead of calling out their name.

According to Uber, Rides can only be requested through the app, so never get in a car with a driver who claims to be with Uber and offers a ride.

Additionally, Uber and Lyft allow you to share your ride status with a friend, so they can track your ride on their smartphone and make sure you get to your destination safely.

Finally, if you see something suspicious or suspect somebody pretending to be a driver, use your best intuition and call the police.

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