Tips to Keep You Safe While Ridesharing

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(ABC 6 News) – Ridesharing. It’s a service that has the potential to turn a regular trip into a nightmare. 

Whether it’s Uber, Lyft, or a taxi, ridesharing is common for those looking for lifts to the airport or getting home after a night on the town. 

Over the weekend a woman mistakenly got into a man’s car, believing it was a ride share that would take her back to her hotel. 

Instead, the driver refused to let her out until she had sex with him. 

Fortunately, she was able to escape when they stopped at a gas station in Cannon Falls. 

It’s a situation no one ever wants to be in, but should always be prepared for. 

Mower County Sheriff, Steve Sandvik, says there are a number of ways to make your next rideshare experience a safe one. 

“Everyone should have someone else aware of what their travel plans are,” Sheriff Sandvik said. “It’s very important to have at least one person know in case the worst does happen, then we have a trail we can follow.” 

In addition to letting someone know where you’re going. Freeborn County Detective Ryan Shea says to wait for your ride indoors and make sure you have your cell phone on you before you get in the car. 

“Don’t linger outside waiting for the ride.” Detective Shea said. “You want to make sure that someone doesn’t scope you out as a target.”

Shea also says to make sure the picture, name, and care of the driver match the description on your phone. 

“If you’re not familiar with the area, you should be running your own apple maps or google maps to make sure they’re not taking you on some funny course,” Shea said.

But if the driver tries to force you into the car, Shae and Sandvic say the best thing you can do is draw attention to the driver. 

“Make a scene… because whoever is doing it doesn’t want attention drawn to themselves,” Shae said. “So make as big of a scene as you possibly can and get other people alerted.” 

But what about once you’re in the car? Is that too late? 

Detective Shea says there are still some things you can do to protect yourself:

  1. Don’t show your wallet to the driver if you don’t have to pay in cash.
  1. sit in the rear seat of the car 
  1. Be on the phone with a family member or friend. 

As a bystander, both Shea and Sandvic say the best thing you can do is to not take situations lightly and call the police if you are concerned for someone well being. 

“if you see something that you feel is unsafe, say something.” Sheriff Sandvic said. “If you see something say something.”