Ride-hailing services, such as Lyft and Uber, have become increasingly popular in recent years. With these services, you catch a ride to your destination in someone’s personal car. Ride-hailing drivers typically receive the same driver training as everybody else on the road. That is, they are usually not professional drivers.
According to a study from the University of Chicago and Rice University, ride-hailing services have contributed to a 2% to 3% increase in traffic fatalities since 2011. While you cannot control the driving behaviors of your ride-hailing driver, you may increase your chances of surviving a motor vehicle accident by sitting in the correct spot.
Is the front of the car a good place to sit?
While modern safety features make the front of vehicles a safe place to sit, you are probably better off sitting in the rear of a ride-hailing vehicle. Doing so helps to minimize driver distraction. It also gives you an opportunity to keep an eye on the driver, allowing you to end the ride if you observe unsafe driving.
Should you sit on the driver or passenger side?
You do not want to walk into traffic to climb aboard your ride-hailing vehicle. Consequently, it is generally safest to board the side closest to the curb. This is usually the passenger side. If you must walk into the roadway, pocket your smartphone and keep an eye on approaching vehicles.
Choosing your seat is only part of the safety equation, of course. Ultimately, to stay safe during your ride-hailing trip, you should always wear your seat belt and avoid behaviors that may distract the driver.