UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR-TV) — Companies like Lyft and Uber make it easy and convenient to get around. Whenever you’re traveling with a ride sharing service it’s important to stay vigilant and cautious. According to the New York Times, in 2018 Uber had 3,045 reports of sexual assaults. Although that’s only a fraction of a percent of the 1.3 billion rides taken that year, it still poses a safety concern for people using ride sharing services. Lieutenant Bryan Coromato, of Utica’s Police Department, says it’s best to try to travel with others or share your location with someone you trust.
“Always traveling with other people helps. I know that’s not always a possibility on different situations whether you know, it be an airport run or a ride home from a bar, or things like that. So, sometimes it’s not possible but you should always let someone know where you are and when you’re going home, especially if you’re using a cab company or Uber or Lyft.” – Bryan Coromato, Public Information Officer, Utica Police Department
Let someone know when you’ve made it to your destination safely. Check to make sure that the license plate matches the information in your ride request and ask the driver for the name of the rider they’re picking up. If you’re traveling alone and find yourself in a vulnerable situation, do what you can to protect yourself.
“When they’re alone they should take measures to help protect themselves… It’s always good to know how to fight back, whether that be with your hands and feet or to carry some sort of pepper spray, pocket knife, things like that. Obviously we don’t want you to use those things illegally on people but those are things that could definitely help you fend off any sort of attack that may unfortunately happen.” – Bryan Coromato, Public Information Officer, Utica Police Department
Uber, Lyft and other ride sharing companies conduct background checks on their drivers to ensure the safety of riders. But, if you don’t feel safe then don’t take the ride.
“People need to be aware of their surroundings. If they don’t feel comfortable, it’s worth not taking that ride and maybe try to figure out a different way to get home.” – Bryan Coromato, Public Information Officer, Utica Police Department