Sharing a ride with a stranger can be a bit scary and daunting, especially if you have never done it before. However, don’t let that stop you from embarking on what could be an incredible experience, not to mention a cheaper transport alternative! Below are twelve safety precautions to take before ridesharing with a stranger.
- Check Facebook and other social media profiles
A social media profile is always a good place to start to get an indication of the type of person they are and give you an idea of any common interests.
- Read reviews (and leave reviews too!)
On coseats.com you can check reviews that have been left by other Coseaters before contacting someone. Reviews are also a great way of getting more prospective drivers or passengers contact you and helping others with their decision. Make sure to leave a review at coseats.com/review for anyone you shared a ride with. Reviews make ridesharing safer for everyone!
- GirlsOnly: Share your details exclusively with other women
For any women that are new to ridesharing and/or aren’t comfortable sharing a ride with a male, coseats.com has a GirlsOnly feature that allows you to just share your details with other women. Learn how to use this feature here.
- Get to know them better and if possible meet them in person
Ideally, try and meet your potential driver or passenger in person in a public area to get a better understanding of your compatibility and to see if you can spend an extended period of time in a car together. Ask lots of questions to get to know them better, including getting a sense of how they dress, talk and body language. Keep an eye out for any red flags such as inappropriate behaviour or comments, vague answers or avoiding a question altogether. If you can’t meet them in person, give them a call instead.
- Establish some ground rules
Make sure you are both on the same page before you head off by agreeing on the details such as the cost, how and when the payment will be made, if there will be any breaks or sightseeing on the way, if smoking is allowed or if regular breaks for smoking is acceptable etc.
- Trust your gut feeling
If there is anything that makes you feel uncomfortable about the person you will be sharing a ride with, trust your instincts and find another ride. It’s better to be safe than sorry!
- Let a family member or friend know about your plans
Once you decide on a Coseater, make sure to let someone that is not going with you know of your plans, such as a relative or friend. Agree on check in points throughout the trip for your relative or friend to call you, including an approximate time that you will be arriving at the destination. Be mindful when agreeing on check in times or points that you may not have signal everywhere.
- Get a photo of their driving license and number plate
Get a photo of the driver’s number plate and ask if it's okay to also send a photo of the driver’s license to your friend or relative as a safety measure.
- Choose a public spot for pick up and drop off
Keep your home, work or friends/family address private by arranging a public pick up and drop off point.
- Exchange important numbers
In the case of an emergency or a change of plans whilst you’re on the road, it would be best for you to exchange main contact details and emergency contact numbers beforehand with anyone you are traveling with. Make sure you also write down important numbers in case you don’t have access to your mobile.
- Keep your ID and some money handy
Always keep a credit or debit card, your ID and some cash on your person in the case that you are stranded or separated from your driver for any reason.
- Try to stay away from remote places with strangers
It is always safer to stay in public places or where there are others to help in the case of an emergency. For example, if you are going to be camping overnight, try and stay in a public campsite with other people rather than in a remote location with a stranger.
Do you have any other safety tips to share with Coseaters about ridesharing? Please feel free to leave additional tips in the comments below.