The Police Beat:
10 Essential Tips for Staying Alert When Using Ride-Share Services
Fairfax County Police Department
Ride-sharing services have revolutionized transportation by providing convenient and affordable ways to get around. While ride-shares offer an accessible service for our Fairfax County residents to travel, Fairfax County Police Department reminds community members of ways to prioritize your safety when using these services.
Every year, major rideshare companies document the number of sexual assault incidents reported to their company. Although Fairfax County does not have as many reported incidents as other major metropolitan areas, since the beginning of 2023 FCPD has had three separate ride-share incidents reported in our communities.
By following these tips, you can minimize the risk of being victimized and enjoy a safe and secure ride. Remember to always trust your instincts, stay alert, and report any concerns or inappropriate behaviors as soon as possible.
Tips on Ride-Share Safety
Verify the driver and car: Before getting into the vehicle, ensure that the driver’s name, photo, and license plate match the details provided on the app. Do not hesitate to cancel the ride if something seems off or unfamiliar.
Share trip details: Let a friend or family member know when and where you are going, along with the driver’s details. Use the app’s share feature to send them a live trip update.
Sit in the back: Always choose the back seat, as it provides a safer distance and allows you to exit the vehicle from either side in case of an emergency.
Stay aware of the route: Follow the route on your phone’s GPS or familiarize yourself with the general direction to ensure the driver is taking you toward your destination.
Check reviews: Before booking a ride, review the driver’s rating and read previous passengers’ reviews to get an idea of their reliability and professionalism.
Trust your instincts: If at any point you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, trust your instincts and ask the driver to stop at a well-lit, populated area. You can also call emergency services if necessary.
Avoid sharing personal information: While it’s essential to communicate with the driver about directions or any necessary information, avoid sharing unnecessary personal details to maintain your privacy and safety.
Be cautious with alcohol consumption: If you’ve been drinking, it’s always better to avoid riding alone. Consider traveling with a trusted friend or using other reliable transportation methods.
Report any issues: If you experience any safety concerns or inappropriate behavior, report it to Uber or Lyft immediately, providing them with all relevant details.
Call the police: If for any reason you feel uncomfortable or think you might need immediate assistance, do not hesitate to call 911.
Anyone with information about criminal incidents involving rideshare trips is asked to contact our Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone – 1-866-411-TIPS (866-411-8477).
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