Wear a seat belt at all times
Being a passenger is not an excuse for not wearing a seat belt. You don't know the driving experience of your driver, and often as passengers we are looking at other things and may not see an emergency developing. Even the smallest hard stop can cause you to move quickly forward and out of your seat.
A recent IIHS report showed that people are least likely to belt up in the back when they are taking a short-distance ride in a hailed car – like an Uber or taxi. Four out of 5 adults surveyed say short trips or traveling by taxi or ride-hailing service are times they don’t bother to use a belt.1
Plan ahead when possible
If calling for a taxi, ask for the cab number from the dispatcher and make sure the taxi number and the company's name match the vehicle before you get in. Using a service like Uber or Lyft will provide access to your driver’s name and rating and vehicle information well before they show up. Finally, before you leave, make sure you have an idea of what direction you should be going and how long the trip will take, especially if you can’t track your ride using a mobile app.
Never take a ride alone if you're drunk
If you've had too much to drink, a hired car is the right decision and you should bring someone with you that you can trust. Be careful not to fall asleep during the ride. Not being fully responsive to defend yourself is a serious concern, as riders that are drunk can't defend themselves from being assaulted and robbed.
Pick the right seat
Always sit in the back seat where you are less visible to the driver and to people on the street when you are stopped at a light. If there is no one in the back seat with you then sit in the middle seat and keep the windows rolled up. The less accessible you are from someone reaching in the better, and before the driver pulls away make sure the door handle to open your door works in case you have to get out in an emergency.
Keep valuables close and out of sight
Store your jewelry and other expensive items in your bags or purse and zip them up. Then, keep them on the floor between your feet where they're hard to see and reach. Keep your mobile phone in your hand, but hidden from plain sight and avoid using it when stopped in traffic where there is heavy pedestrian traffic.
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