How ride-share drivers and passengers can protect themselves

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Photo by WINK News.

New video shows the last time a University of South Carolina student was seen alive. Investigators say Samantha Josephson got into a car thinking it was the Uber she ordered. Her body was found in a wooded area hours later.

We looked at what safety measures are in place from ride-share services Monday, so deadly mistakes can be prevented.

“We’re all young and do it casually all the time, not thinking what could happen,” college student Katie Stevenson said.

Like most university students, Stevenson is no stranger to Uber or other ride-sharing services.

“Like once a week, not too often,” Stevenson said. “But it only takes one time for something to go wrong.”

Stevenson is thinking twice after a USC student Josephson got into the wrong car and was murdered Friday.

“She probably thought she was doing everything perfectly fine,” Stevenson said. “And then everything just went wrong, so it could happen to anyone.”

Uber drivers like Marcel Perera said staying safe simply means taking the right steps.

“Make sure they check everything: the license plate, the driver, all that stuff before you get in someone’s car,” Perera said.

Match the name, picture, car and license plate number to the driver.

“We ask who [the driver is] picking up, so they say my name,” Stevenson said.

Perera said he does the same thing with his passengers.

“You never know what you’re going to pick up,” Perera said.

Perera also recommends not relying on the Uber or Lyft stickers on drivers’ cars as identification.

“You can get those stickers anywhere,” Perera said. “They’re five bucks on the internet.”

If someone ends up in an emergency situation, Uber offers a 911 feature under the safety tab on its app. With the tap of a button, it connects you to a dispatcher with all of your trip details.

“As far as security, that’s the best feature they have, so you can call 911,” Perera said.

Another Uber safety feature is called share your ride Share My Trip. The feature allows friends and family of the user’s choosing to follow the status of a trip.


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