Many of us have made the mistake of hopping into the wrong Uber or Lyft car, and San Francisco officials want you to be more aware of it.
The city launched a public safety campaign on Tuesday to help rideshare users get into the right Lyft or Uber car following a number of recent assaults.
It's a simple reminder, but as part of the citywide campaign called "Rideshare with Care," riders are encouraged to verify the license plate number and the car's make, model and colour to the rideshare app, as well as confirm their driver’s name first before providing your name.
Riders are also asked to make sure the driver matches the picture on the rideshare app, and to share location and destination with a friend, family member, or someone they trust.
"Rideshare companies offer a convenient service," San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
"These services generally operate effectively, but they can be manipulated to attract unsuspecting victims. Together, we can take steps to create a safer experience for a service so many rely on."
The campaign comes after the case of the Rideshare Rapist, in which Orlando Vilchez Lazo was alleged to have preyed on unsuspecting women by waiting outside bars and nightclubs, picked them up claiming to be their driver, then attacked them on the way home.
Another case reported earlier this week involved a Las Vegas woman who flung herself from a car to escape a fake Uber driver who picked her up from the Park MGM hotel. It's one of numerous other cases of fraudulent drivers in recent years.
"We are excited to work with DA's office to help spread this important message," an Uber spokesperson said via email.
"The safety features that are built into the Uber app — like the GPS tracking of the trip — only work if a rider is in the car that is assigned to them through the app. If someone is in the wrong car, they won't know who their driver is and neither will Uber."
Lyft said it applauded the efforts to educate the rideshare community about safety. It pointed to security features like its Amp device, which sits on the driver's dashboard and illuminates in a color corresponding to what the passenger sees in their app.
Although San Francisco officials have been at loggerheads with Lyft and Uber over issues like driver's rights, the campaign puts these quarrels aside in the name of customer safety.
"The SFDA's Office does not see eye to eye with rideshare companies on all issues, and litigation regarding these issues remains ongoing, but public safety for rideshare users is paramount," the statement added.