On Your Side: How to stay safe when using ride-sharing services

Local News

A University of South Carolina student was getting into what she thought was her Uber, never to be seen again.    

Samantha Josephson was a 21-year-old college senior. A man now has been charged with her murder

Her death is sparking discussion on rideshare safety. 

RELATED: Father vows safety push after daughter’s ride-sharing death

WATE 6 On Your Side’s Elizabeth Kuebel spent the evening speaking with law enforcement about things we all need to keep in mind when using a ride-sharing service.

“We’re all in a sorority so just like getting to and from sorority village or close distance areas so we don’t have to deal with on-campus parking,” said UT student Kayla Hammer.  

She and her friends calling for a ride about once a week they say, but proceeding with caution.

“We typically take an Uber XL because we travel with a ton of people, it’s never just one or two of us. I think there’s definitely safety in numbers,” she said.

Look for Uber/Lyft sign

“The first thing that they need to do whenever that car pulls up, the first thing is look for that Uber/Lyft sign in their window,” said Knox County Sheriff Tom Spangler.

Spangler passing along important tips we should all take into consideration when getting into an Uber or Lyft.

The discussion coming in light of the tragedy out of South Carolina.

Ask the driver’s name

“They need to ask the driver what their name is. Because it’s on their phone. They’ve already pulled up the app, it tells who the driver is. Let the driver tell them, don’t you as an individual say ‘hey is your name so and so.’ Let them tell you their name because if it’s somebody up to no good, then they’re obviously going to answer yes,” the sheriff said.

Also, ask the driver what your name is and where it is they’re supposed to be taking you before you get into their car.

You can’t be too cautious

“You can’t be too cautious with that. Those are things that you should be doing all the time,” Spangler said.

The sheriff also reminding us, if your driver doesn’t want to answer those questions he recommended we ask, or if you’re just feeling uneasy, don’t get in the car.

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