By Sarah Fichter
It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day, and it is a great time to go out with friends! St Pat’s is one of the US’s most significant alcohol consumption holidays; the top five are Mardi Gras, New Year’s Eve, St. Patrick’s Day, Independence Day and Halloween. Have fun, but the drinking should be accompanied by sound judgment.
You will need more than Irish luck to safely get from one place to the next. Instead of luck, consider hiring a driving service if you do not have a designated driver. Driving services like Uber, Lyft and others are good options, but there are safety measures to employ when booking a car and driver.
Here are some suggestions for a safe ride:
Have the Driver Confirm your Name
Ask them who the car is for when you and your friends see the car pulling up. Do not say your name first! On holidays when a lot of alcoholic beverages are consumed, people are vulnerable to predators. That is why confirming your name and information before you get inside the car is an excellent way to ensure you are in the right service car.
Order Your Car Inside
You want to minimize the time you are outside waiting for a ride, especially if you are alone. Staying inside a bar, restaurant, party or event for as long as possible is the safest way to wait for the booked vehicle. Most driving apps have a locator that shows where the car is and how close they are to your location, so use this to indicate when it is appropriate to head outdoors.
Wear Your Seatbelt
If an accident occurs, wearing your seatbelt can save your life. Also, your driver should be sober, but others on the road may not be. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are typically more car accidents during holidays than during non-holiday periods.
Share Your Location
Uber has an option called “Share Trip Status,” which allows the rider to share their location during the ride with anyone they want. This allows your loved ones to know an estimated arrival time, or if the rider goes off route, they will be able to see it.
Sit in the Back Seat of the Vehicle
It is good to have space between the rider and the driver to be safe and comfortable during the ride. Doing this also ensures you can exit the vehicle quickly and safely.
Finally, Uber recommends that you “trust your instincts at all times and use your best judgment when requesting a ride with Uber. If you ever feel that you’re in an urgent situation, you can call 911 by using the Emergency Button in your app. Anytime you call emergency services from the Uber app, the app provides you with your real-time location and trip details that you can share with the dispatcher. If you feel unsafe, you can end the ride anytime.”