Uber, Lyft and other rideshare apps are widely used in California’s major cities. Unfortunately, using the convenient apps is not always safe. Cincinnati.com ran a story on the fatal outcome of a missing college student who mistakenly entered a vehicle she thought was an Uber vehicle before her subsequent murder.

To help rideshare users stay safe, UCSF Risk Management and Insurance Services offers several insights. Passengers should keep these tips in mind the next time they use a ridesharing app.

Confirm the car and driver

Before setting foot inside a vehicle, riders need to double-check that it is the one shown in the app and that the driver looks like the one in the app. Also, passengers need to ask who the driver is picking up.

Wait inside

When possible, riders should wait inside for the driver to show up, especially when traveling alone. This reduces a person’s overall vulnerability. Ridesharing drivers expect to wait for passengers, so riders should not think of themselves as inconveniences by making the driver wait a few minutes for them to step outside.

Note the route

While en route to their destination, riders need to keep track of the route with their phone. If the driver deviates from the map, passengers should speak up about it. While the driver may know of a shortcut, it could be through a sparsely populated or dangerous area.

Scope out the driver’s rating

Usually, ridesharing apps let riders see a driver’s rating. A low rating could indicate the person behind the wheel is rude, a bad driver or otherwise someone who should not give anyone a ride.

Passengers should not hesitate to cancel a ride and request another driver. A person’s safety and peace of mind are most important in such situations.