Fairfax Co. police give tips on ride-share safety

Are you double-checking the car and driver before you hop in a ride-share vehicle? The Fairfax County police are giving tips to the community that may help you and your loved ones stay safe.

Since the beginning of 2023, the Fairfax County police have had three separate ride-share incidents reported in the area.

Other incidents in the D.C. region have included an Arlington, Virginia, woman who jumped out of a Lyft in June when her driver headed away from her destination, a man in Bethesda, Maryland, who was charged with sexually abusing two women in an Uber, and a D.C. Lyft driver accused of sexually assaulting a customer in Georgetown.

What can you do to minimize your risk?

Fairfax County police have provided the following tips to avoid being victimized in your ride-share trip.

  • Verify the driver and car: Before getting into the vehicle, ensure that the driver’s name, photo, and license plate match the details provided on the app. Do not hesitate to cancel the ride if something seems off or unfamiliar.
  • Share trip details: Let a friend or family member know when and where you are going, along with the driver’s details. Use the app’s share feature to send them a live trip update.
  • Sit in the back: Always choose the back seat, as it provides a safer distance and allows you to exit the vehicle from either side in case of an emergency.
  • Stay aware of the route: Follow the route on your phone’s GPS or familiarize yourself with the general direction to ensure the driver is taking you toward your destination.
  • Check reviews: Before booking a ride, review the driver’s rating and read previous passengers’ reviews to get an idea of their reliability and professionalism.
  • Avoid sharing personal information: While it’s essential to communicate with the driver about directions or any necessary information, avoid sharing unnecessary personal details to maintain your privacy and safety.
  • Be cautious with alcohol consumption: If you’ve been drinking, it’s always better to avoid riding alone. Consider traveling with a trusted friend or using other reliable transportation methods.
  • Report any issues: If you experience any safety concerns or inappropriate behavior, report it to Uber or Lyft immediately, providing them with all relevant details.
  • Call the police: If for any reason you feel uncomfortable or think you might need immediate assistance, do not hesitate to call 911.

Fairfax County police also said to trust your instincts, and if you feel unsafe, ask the driver to stop in a well-lit, populated area and call emergency services if needed.

Anyone with information about criminal incidents involving ride-share trips is asked to contact the Fairfax County police Major Crimes Bureau at 703-246-7800. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone at 866-411-TIPS (8477).

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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