Getting a ride from someone else is something many Floridians do all the time. People hop in a cab or call for an Uber; they hitch a ride with friends and carpool to work with colleagues.
While sharing rides can be better for your wallet and the environment, it may be putting your safety in danger if you are not taking the following precautions:
- Wearing your seat belt – According to some estimates, as many as 80 percent of Uber passengers do not buckle up in the backseat. People assume that they do not need to wear a seat belt in the back seat because it is not required of adult passengers in the back. However, seat belts are one of the most effective motor vehicle safety features. In the event of a crash, whether you are wearing your seat belt could make the difference between fatal and survivable injuries.
- Preventing driver distraction – While some people prefer to ride in silence, many passengers like to engage with their driver. However, exchanges beyond a conversation can be very distracting. As such, you must avoid behaviors like fighting, yelling, dancing, and trying to get the driver to look at your phone. Your conduct can have a significant effect on a driver’s ability to focus, so be sure you do not allow or cause driver distractions.
- Choosing your driver carefully – Whether you are getting a ride home with friends or a stranger you hailed from Uber, be cautious about your driver. Has he or she been drinking? Is he or she driving erratically or ignoring traffic laws? Do you feel unsafe? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then you should trust your instinct and get out of the car as soon as you can do safely. If you cannot get out, you may need to call the police.
Even when you are not driving, you can take these steps to prevent car accidents and protect yourself.