CAPE TOWN’ South Africa – In coming months people might start relying on ride-sharing services such as Uber or Bolt, perhaps to save on insurance and car maintenance or because they might be going into the office less often.
Thanks to the Covid flu situation and the national lockdown crippling South Africa, MasterDrive’s MD Eugene Herbert,told The Corner, there were things part-time commuters could do to protect themselves.
IDENTIFY THE DRIVER
“Find a safe place to wait for a driver at your home, office, or a shop,,” he suggested. “Most ride-sharing apps indicate when the driver is nearby and that means waiting in the street, unprotected.
“When your driver does arrive there are a number of ways to ensure that it is the correct person. You should have the driver’s name, photo, vehicle registration, and the make and colour of the vehicle.
“Check all of these details against the actual person that arrives, never just assume you have the right driver.
“Another example is to put your bag in the boot – that gives you an opportunity to check if anybody is hiding there. You can also phone someone (even if just pretending, to tell them you are on your way in a ride-sharing vehicle).
“It could deter somebody with nefarious intentions.”
USE YOUR TRACKING APP
Also open your phone’s GPS app – or open the ride-sharing app if it has a GPS function – to track the route the driver is taking. If the driver diverts call for help before he even realises you know.
If the ride-sharing app allows share your trip with a contact.
Other potential dangers are invisible… has the car been sanitized? Make sure you sanitise your own hands before getting into the car. Keep the windows open, sit in the back on the side opposite to that of the driver – even if he invites you up front.
‘ENSURE YOUR SAFETY
MasterDrive has a training course that deals with these and similar issues. “Like any transport option, ride-sharing has its own safety concerns. Clients attend a 45-minute Zoom presentation covering many issues that might be encountered.
Herbert concluded: “The training course will help to ensure your personal safety and your health are protected.”