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Follow these tips to stay safe while ridesharing

South Carolina just became the latest state to pass stricter laws governing ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft, following the gruesome murder of college student Samantha Josephson in March.

Photo of Uber app in use

Photo credit: Mighty Travels via: Flickr.

Josephson mistakenly got into a car that she thought was her Uber outside a bar in Columbia’s Five Points area. She was found dead less than 12 hours later of what police said were “multiple sharp force injuries” to her entire body. Nathaniel Rowland, 24, has been arrested and charged with murder and kidnapping in her death.

The new state law, known as the Samantha Josephson Ridesharing Safety Act, requires drivers for ridesharing services to have their license plate numbers displayed on the front of their vehicles.

Josephson’s parents have launched the ‘What’s My Name?’ initiative to encourage ridesharers to make drivers state the name of the person they are supposed to be picking up before the passenger gets in the car. They hope it will prevent similar tragedies in the future.

In addition, to carefully checking the license plate and asking the driver to state your name, here are other steps you can take to stay safe while ridesharing.

  1. Share your trip. Always let someone else know when you are getting into the ride and how long you expect it to take to arrive at your destination. Uber allows you to ‘share’ the ride information from the app and the people you share with can track you in real time.
  2. Request your trip while still inside a building. Minimize the time you spend standing alone outside waiting for your ride. Standing alone with your cellphone out can also make you vulnerable to thieves and pickpockets.
  3. Never share personal information. Don’t share information about your travel, where you live, where you are from, your living situation, or other personal details with your driver.
  4. Sit in the back seat. This is the safest area of a car or van, and this keeps more distance between you and the driver if his or her behavior makes you worried.
  5. Check your driver’s rating. Always check to make sure your driver has prior experience and a rating over 4.5 stars. A lower rating will get a driver deactivated or fired from Uber.
  6. Never pay or tip with cash. You can now leave tips in the ridesharing app for both Uber and Lyft, so there is no reason for you to need cash when taking a rideshare.
  7. Leave feedback. It’s important to leave feedback when you complete your ride to help good drivers stay with the services and weed out the bad ones.

If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident during a rideshare trip. Or, you have been hurt by a negligent or abusive rideshare driver, contact the Atlanta personal injury attorneys at Marks Law Group, LLC. Call or text 404-998-4072 and we will meet you right away.

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