Getting from Point A to Point B has never been easier, thanks to ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft. But for women, safety issues have been an unfortunate reality, with horrifying stories of stalking, harassment, and sexual assault.
While Uber and Lyft has safety tips on their websites and built into their apps, like reminders to check license plate numbers and GPS trip-sharing, riders are always on the lookout for extra ways to stay secure.
One Twitter user’s Lyft safety tip has gone viral — and it’s so easy, everyone can do it.
Writer Tiffany D. Jackson posted on Twitter about a recent Lyft ride. She describes getting into the vehicle and quickly checking for child safety locks, or locks that can only be controlled by a driver or opened from the outside. These locks are typically in the used in the backset of cars to prevent kids from an accident. Jackson’s driver was impressed with her safety check, and said that he’d pass the tip along to his sister.
Me to @lyft Driver: For Tiffany?— Tiffany D. Jackson (@WriteinBK) July 7, 2019
Me: Where are we going?
Me: *open & closes car door twice*
Him: *looks back at me* Were you...just checking for a child lock?
Him: Whoa. That’s smart. Gonna tell my sister to do that!
Me: *Gives 5 stars*
Jackson followed up by explaining that she’d been in a rideshare car before, and noticed the child locks were on — quickly leading her to suspect that something was amiss.
I’ve only once got in an Uber when the child lock was on, and definitely hit homie with the “Son, I don’t know what’s going on but whatever you thinking, you got the WRONG one.” pic.twitter.com/F7iJ01cXY1— Tiffany D. Jackson (@WriteinBK) July 7, 2019
The tweet went viral, with many adding this safety tip to their Rolodex. Others shared similar Uber and Lyft safety tips, and methods of checking child safety locks and opening them from inside the car. Some told stories of their own creepy encounters with drivers and passengers.
I tried to check the license plate of a @lyft driver to make sure he was the right guy & he almost wouldn’t start the ride. He spoke to me threateningly, claimed he hadn’t heard about women getting killed. All Lyft did was take the driver off my list—in Vegas, where I don’t live.
— Fayza A. Elmostehi (@fayzaelmostehi) July 7, 2019
Wow, I never thought about doing that! Which now freaks me out in retrospect.
— Ann Mayhew (@annmayhew) July 7, 2019
Damn! I never even thought of that and just got in my Lyft. Definitely doing that from now on!
— Dr. Sunday Abbott (@dr_abbott220) July 7, 2019
Most cars it is very simple to check with the door still open. On the interior of the frame of the door you will see a sticker that says “child lock.” Look at the direction of the black trigger is placed in. (Up or down) It will tell you if it is activated or not.— Mark Casadei 🎬 (@markliterally) July 7, 2019
Ohh your methods are really smart!! And what a sweet driver to also be openly looking out for his sister 💜💜
— BekkaBisexual 💖💜💙🏳️🌈🏳️🌈🏳️🌈 (@Bekkablair) July 7, 2019
Was able to effectively manually say the ride had been completed, turned off the GPS and kidnapped them.— CJ ✨ Do Not Invoke Her Name (@CJPendragon) July 7, 2019
It was a harrowing experience and not uncommon but the GPS feature and driver info provided gives riders the ability to track and share info with friends/family just in case
Women have good reason to take their safety seriously. In April 2019, Samantha Josephson, 21, was killed after getting into a car after the driver posed as a fake Uber driver, prompting the company to write a lengthy blog post clarifying essential safety tips. Uber also allows riders to share their trip status and location with another trusted person, and allows riders to quickly use safety features directly from the app.