I recently had to take a taxi alone at night. I was a little fearful because I had recently read about a woman in South Africa had been abducted and raped while using a taxi- hailing service. Taxi hailing apps have really improved the safety in the taxi business for both the passengers and taxi drivers. However, they have not made using a taxi completely safe. There are still instances of rape and theft that occur while using these Taxi Apps. Fortunately for me the taxi I took was safe and the driver even gave me a few tips to keep a little safer.
- Verify the driver. Fortunately, the App will always give you the identity of the driver, the make of the car and the number plate. Take note of that and ensure that the car that you get into corresponds with the information that you have. Also, try and get a good look of the driver to ensure that he is the one in the App. This is important because there have been instances of people pretending to be Uber drivers to take advantage of passengers.
- Check on the driver’s rating. Most Taxi hailing Apps give you a chance to rate the driver. If the driver has a poor rating then it is probably best to just cancel the ride. It will most likely cost you but that is way less than the cost of your life. Also when the driver calls you can check for their number on Truecaller. If you note that someone has blocked them or they are saved as something strange like “creepy taxi guy” then just cancel that trip.
- Do not call a taxi for someone you do not know. These Apps are also there to protect the drivers from passengers with ill intent. If you call a taxi then you are the one who is registered and if anything goes wrong during the trip then you will be the person the police come for.
- Call someone during the ride. First, send your trip details to someone you can trust and someone who knows where you are going. Then while in the cab just call and tell them where you are and clarify that you will call them once you get home. This might deter the taxi driver from doing anything and in case the car veers off the trail or the trip ends and you do not call your friend then they know something is wrong and they can alert the police.
LittleCab having recognized that security risk that especially women face offers you the option to select a female driver although I wish it didn’t cost slightly more than getting the basic service. They also partnered with the police to include a panic button on the app which is directly linked to the Police.
Insecurity is a big problem in this country and it is always better to take extra measures to be safe. I hope these few tips will help you. If you have any other safety tips please comment below.
Featured image via Theconversation.com.