One of the most widely used forms of transportation among our generation is Uber. If you’re not familiar with the concept of Uber, the process is very simple and helpful to GL students who are ever in need of a ride. With the Uber app, users plug in their destinations and an available driver in the area comes and picks them up. The app provides users with the driver’s name, picture, license plate, and car type and color. However, some Uber users and prospective Uber users are still wary of getting in a car with a random stranger.
Leaked horror stories that gain popularity and circulate the Internet are what cause people to be so on-edge about the app. One occurrence that has left users scared started when 21-year-old Samantha Josephson ordered an Uber. She climbed inside the vehicle that pulled up, but it was not really her Uber. Josephson never got taken home and was later found dead. Stories like this concern students who often use rideshare services. But being informed of the safe usage of the drivers, will allow students to be more cautious.
Those who use Uber often have their own tactics in order to stay safe. Freshman Anna Fiamingo stated, “Even after hearing stuff [about Uber] on the news, I don’t really get scared. I never use Uber alone.” Fiamingo stated that bringing a friend is always a good idea so that an Uber-user is not alone in case anything goes wrong. In order to make sure she’s getting into the right car, Fiamingo also said that she “always checks the license plate, driver, and car type to see if it matched up with what the app says.” There are clearly many ways to make sure that you are safe when getting into a stranger's car, but some students still do not trust the concept.
There are many students who are not willing to risk their safety and use Uber. Sophomore Ariana Romero is one of those students. Romero said, “[Uber] seems shady to me. Sure, they do background checks on the drivers, but you never know.” Even though the app provides users with valuable information such as the car’s license plate and color, this isn’t enough for some people. The unknown makes Romero uncertain about using a rideshare service. Romero also said, “Some people are mentally ill and if they’re in a car with a complete stranger bad things might happen.” For Romero and others like her, getting into a car with someone you don’t know has the potential to be a recipe for disaster.
If you’re going to use Uber, make sure to check the license plate, car type, and picture of the driver and his or her name. When approaching the car, ask who the person is picking up and don’t immediately tell the driver your name as the app provides it for him or her. Whether you’re an avid user of the Uber app or not, the most important thing is to stay safe.