Uber tips that could save your life


Columbia SC Police

Samantha Josephson the victim of the Uber murder. Credit: CNN

On March 29, University of South Carolina senior Samantha Josephson was out at a club with friends. When it was time to head home, Josephson decided to part ways with her friends and leave the bar and ordered herself an Uber and was never seen again.

Josephson had been out in Columbia, S.C., in the downtown Five Points district, a popular nightlife hub closes the campus, Bird Dog bar. After she got into a vehicle she mistakenly thought was her Uber ride, Josephson’s body was found in a field and that she had died from multiple sharp injuries.

To avoid mistakes that have ended in tragedy like Josephson’s, here are tips to remember before stepping into your next Uber or Lyft.

If possible, sit in the back seat, especially if you’re riding alone. This helps ensure that you can safely exit on either side of the vehicle to avoid moving traffic, and it gives you and the driver personal space.

Once in the Uber, tap the “Share trip” in the Uber app to share information like your driver’s name, photo, license plate, and location with a friend or family member. They will receive texts or push notifications tracking your trip.

Before you get in the car ask the driver to confirm your name. Your driver will be able to see your first name in the app, and your driver’s first name will be displayed to you in your app. To safely exchange names, you should ask, “Who are you here to pick up?” to ensure it is your correct Uber.