SXSW is in full swing, as is Spring Break, so there are going to be a lot of people out on the roads this week. Austin will have many visitors from out of town and the ridesharing industries are prepping for the surge. If you plan on using apps like Fasten or Ride Austin, you should make sure that you are doing so safely. It was not that long ago when we drilled into our children’s minds the advice to never get into a vehicle with a stranger. Now, we have apps to call strangers to our homes to pick us up. While most rideshares happen without incident, you are risking a lot when you climb into a stranger’s vehicle. Here are some tips to make sure you are ridesharing safely so you can enjoy your Spring Break and SXSW:
- Only book rides with transportation network companies that are city approved.
- Make sure that, before you get into a car, the car has a trade dress visible in the windshield. This is a city of Austin requirement. Usually, you’ll see a logo for the ridesharing company that you are using.
- Confirm the driver and car. Some ridesharing apps provide this information to you before your ride arrives – make sure it is accurate.
- Check the driver’s rating.
- While ridesharing is often used as an alternative to drunk driving, don’t drink too much.
- Rideshare with friends. There’s safety in numbers.
- Pick a public place for your pick up and your drop off.
- Prepare for emergencies, just in case. Make sure your phone is fully charged, write down important phone numbers and keep a credit card on hand.