Uber has today issued safety guidelines for both driver-partners and riders. As the festive season approaches, the demand for Uber increases as many people are planning on hopping to and from parties, shopping malls and other festivities.
According to Uber the safety of riders and driver-partners before, during and after every trip is of importance hence the improvement of the safety features, the world over.
Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber sub-Saharan Africa explains, “Safety is a two-way street, especially when two people are sharing a ride. And, while no means of transportation is 100% free of accidents and incidents, we’re always looking for ways to improve safety.”
Recently, Uber kick-started a series of driver safety sessions at its Greenlight Hubs across our major African cities.
“We partnered with Police representatives and Safety experts in order to equip driver-partners with tailor-made safety tips including being alert on the roads, ensuring they follow the laws of the road and providing tips to help prevent them being a victim of crime,” added Lits.
Uber has also launched a social media and direct marketing campaign to new and existing riders in order to educate them on the safety features that Uber provides.
Uber promotes the safety of riders through features such as GPS tracked trips, a rating and feedback system that ensures two way accountability and information provided to riders about the car and driver such as the driver-partners name, photo, license plate number and the make of the car.
The technological company constantly develops new technologies to ensure safety before, during, and after every ride which was not possible before. “Uber is committed to continuously helping in educating riders and driver-partners on how to use the technology by providing tips to improve their safety on every ride,” added Lit.
Recently, in Kenya Uber launched a personal accident insurance cover which goes a step further in enhancing the safety of riders. The cover which insures riders for accidental medical expenses, hospital confinement, ambulance emergency, death or serious injury suffered by a passenger amongst others also complements the PSV insurance that each Uber driver-partner has for their vehicles.
Rider Safety Tips
- Know Your Ride
Always take the time to review the safety features available to you in the app. Check that license plate, vehicle colour, driver photo, and driver name all match what’s listed in the app. Rides can only be requested through the Uber app. It’s important to avoid spending unnecessary time outside with your phone in your hand. Rather wait indoors until you are notified through the app that your driver has arrived.
- Be a backseat rider
If you’re riding alone, sit in the backseat. This ensures you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and your driver some personal space.
- In-app Help
This tool is designed to help you get a prompt response to your queries in the shortest time possible. Navigate to the “Help’’ section on the app, which helps riders and driver-partners alike to communicate any concerns they may have during a trip, so that they can get a response as soon as possible.
- Follow Your Intuition
When travelling with a driver-partner, you should always be aware of your surroundings, and trust your instincts and judgement if you feel that something isn’t right. You should be cautious when sharing any personal information and should always confirm that the driver-partner is in fact the one you saw on the app. If ever you feel that you’re in an emergency situation, you are advised to alert the local emergency services immediately.
Driver Safety Tips
- Stay focused on driving
Always be alert, keeping your eyes on the road, and avoiding texting while driving. We recommend using a holder to position your phone in a place where you can easily see it to help reduce dangerous distractions. It’s also important to take a break and get some rest when needed
- Watch for pedestrians and bikers
Always be on the lookout for people who are walking and biking. This is especially important when you’re pulling over for a drop-off or pick-up, or driving at night
- Keep it legal
Drop off passengers in safe and legal locations. Be considerate of others on the road, do not park near traffic lights as this can cause traffic jams, use your hazards when you plan on stopping and rather pull off in safe area instead of the middle of the road.
- Preventing crime
Never park in dark alley ways with no street lights and ensure your doors are locked at all times and always be vigilant and alert, especially when driving at night or areas of high crime
Check your surroundings and keep an eye on your side and review mirrors. Have a one car’s distance between you and the car in front when driving at night, especially when you get to a stop streets or traffic lights, as these are hotspots for criminals.
Safety tips for rider and driver safety
- Always buckle up
A great way to start your trip is by buckling up – drivers, always remind your riders. Seat belt use is required by law, so do your part and make it click – no matter where you sit.
- Feedback is key
You should always give feedback on how your trip went. This helps improve the Uber experience for everyone, maintain a high-quality service and provide accountability. Uber has a 24/7 global support team which reviews the feedback at all times.
- Share your trip details
While en route, you’re able to monitor your own trip in the app, as well as the option to share your Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) with loved ones. This will help friends and family keep track of where you are on the trip, and they can do this without even downloading the Uber app.