IN LIGHT of the recent rape and molest issues involving two ride-hailing apps services, it is important to know the do’s and don’ts before hopping onto a stranger’s car.
Here are some tips and precautions netizens have shared on social media for passengers to take heed before opting for the Uber, Grab or taxi services. 1. VERIFY THE IDENTITY OF THE DRIVERS AND THEIR CARS BEFORE GETTING IN
The ride-hailing apps, provide passengers with their drivers' photos, first names, license plate numbers and their ratings. This information is to prevent passengers from getting in cars by 'bogus' drivers.
A netizen, Ng Jern Siong, who had a shocking experience when his Grab driver turned out to be a different driver, advised the riders to take precaution and to avoid from getting into the car.
In his Facebook post, Ng wrote that he took a screenshot of the driver's details, took down the phone number and and details of the 'alternate' driver and reported the incident to Grab. He cancelled the ride and booked another. 2. TAKE NOTE OF THE DRIVER’S RATING
Another feature that the app provides is a rating system which allows drivers and riders to rate each other.
A social media user, Diana James, mentioned on her Facebook that it is important to check the rating of the driver on the app before accepting the ride.
It is also vital that the riders do their part in rating the drivers appropriately. 3. BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS
It is not advisable to only chat or play with your mobile devices or tablets throughout the ride.
In his Facebook post, Eddy Ong wrote that it is advisable for riders to be cautious of their surroundings or environment while taking a ride on Uber. 4. PROTECT YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
There’s no need to share your phone number or other contact information with your driver. If a rider and driver need to contact each other, the apps automatically hides both phone numbers to protect privacy.
A ride-hailing service user reported that she was contacted by her Uber driver six hours after the ride. She also expressed that the driver should not have kept her contact number after the ride, let alone call her. 5. SHARE YOUR JOURNEY WITH A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER
Always share your location, destination and the route with family and friends.
A Singaporean, Ace Wong, who recently visited Malaysia, shared her experience on Facebook where she took a ride with her sister using Uber service. She contacted her brother-in-law when she realised that her Uber driver was using back alley roads.
Wong seemed to do the right thing by maintaining her composure and made sure her family was kept updated of her whereabouts.
6. FOLLOW YOUR INTUITION
It is best to use your best judgement when riding with Uber or Grab. Wong wrote, “If you feel something is amiss, quickly get down from the ride at a location that has many people.”
And if you feel that you’re in an emergency situation, contact the police immediately.