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Last updated: January 10, 2024

Rideshare Safety Guide 2023

How you can use technology to protect yourself.

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Growing up, your parents probably told you not to get into a stranger’s car. But today, that’s the entire concept of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. As you might imagine, there have been safety issues with ridesharing throughout the years — but not as many as you might think.

In fact, according to the most recent data Uber and Lyft have released, over 99.99 percent of rideshare trips occur without any safety issues. But that doesn’t mean you should be careless. To stay safe either as a rideshare driver or rider, trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to call 911 if you feel you’re in danger.

Is Ridesharing Safe?

Generally speaking, ridesharing is more than 99.99 percent safe whether you’re using Uber or Lyft. However, issues do occur. In 2019 and 2020, for example, there were over 4,800 safety incidents during U.S. Lyft and Uber rides.1 But out of billions of trips total, these companies have safety incident rates of 0.0005 percent and 0.0003 percent, respectively.2

The Risks of Ridesharing

Ridesharing comes with risks like sexual assault, car crashes, traffic fatalities, and physical assault. In the most recent data, Uber had lower rates in all categories when compared to Lyft, except for physical assault.

Safety issue, 2019-2020 Number of Lyft incidents Percentage of all Lyft trips Number of Uber incidents Percentage of all Uber trips Difference, Lyft vs. Uber
Sexual assault (includes the below) 1,807 0.0002% 2,826 0.0001% 72%
Attempted nonconsensual sexual penetration 114 0.00001% 284 0.00001% 8%
Nonconsensual kissing of a sexual body part 203 0.00003% 448 0.00002% 22%
Nonconsensual kissing of a non-sexual body part 293 0.00004% 650 0.00003% 21%
Nonconsensual sexual penetration 156 0.00002% 388 0.00002% 8%
Nonconsensual touching of a sexual body part 1,041 0.00013% 2054 0.0001% 36%
Physical assault fatalities 4 0.0000005% 20 0.000001% -46%
Motor vehicle fatalities 49 0.000006% 101 0.000005% 31%
Total incidents 1,860 0.0005% 2947 0.0003% 46%

Overall, in 2019 and 2020, Uber’s safety incident rate was 46 percent lower than Lyft’s.

Driver Screenings

One of the ways these rideshare companies keep their safety incident rates low is by screening drivers.

  • Uber: Every Uber driver in the U.S. is required to complete a background check before they drive for the company. Uber vets its current drivers annually and asks drivers to take selfies to confirm their identities frequently.
  • Lyft: Similarly, Lyft performs background checks before drivers can start, as well as on an annual basis. The company continuously monitors its drivers for criminal convictions and requires drivers to take a safety program with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, which fights sexual assault.3


Sexual assault rates were 72 percent higher for Lyft than Uber, according to 2019 and 2020 data from both companies.

Safety Features: Uber vs. Lyft

In addition to screening their drivers, Uber and Lyft both have built-in technology in their apps that keeps riders safe on trips.


  • Trusted Contacts: This allows you to let people know your geographic location from the Uber app itself; you can even set reminders to share your trip details with the people you trust the most.
  • Safety button: If you need help, you can call the police from the app. However, you’ll have to inform them of your location and trip details verbally, as they won’t automatically receive this information from the app, unlike with Lyft’s app.
  • RideCheck: The app will track your GPS location, and Uber has a dedicated team to provide support. If the app detects a crash or long stop that wasn’t expected, both the driver and the rider will receive a notification asking if they are OK. If they’re not, they can use the emergency button or make a report to the company’s Safety Line. Uber’s safety team may also call the driver/rider and even help with the insurance claims process in the event of a crash.


  • Smart Trip Check-In: Lyft monitors rides for strange activity, like a long stop or a deviation from a route. If it detects unusual activity, the app will ask you if you need help and will make sure you arrive at your destination.
  • Share destination: Similar to Uber’s Trusted Contacts feature, this feature allows you to share your location with trusted contacts.
  • ADT partnership: You may think of ADT as only a home security company, but as of 2019, ADT can protect you during rideshares as well.4 If you’re feeling unsafe in a Lyft, you can contact ADT from the Lyft app. The staffer on the other end will alert the authorities for you and share your ride details, such as your geolocation and the vehicle’s license plate number, with police. Unlike with Uber, you won’t be required to say this information out loud, which could further compromise your safety.

Uber and Lyft Safety Tips

Even though rideshare safety incidents are rare, thanks to the driver screenings and technology Uber and Lyft have in place, there are still tips you should follow to increase your protection even more.

For Riders

  1. Check ratings. Although you may not be able to choose your driver, always check their rating and prior experience before entering the vehicle.
  2. Confirm information. Make sure the car that arrives is the correct make and model, and that the license plate number matches the one in the app. Confirm the driver’s name and have them confirm yours.
  3. Use the rideshare app to tip. It’s best not to tip in cash. Instead, pay through the app.
  4. Don’t share personal information. While it’s OK to chat with the driver, don’t share any personally identifiable information (PII), such as your full name, mailing address, phone number, email, or Social Security number.
  5. Request your ride from inside. Request your trip while inside your current location, and wait there until the car arrives. Standing outside alone isn’t always safe, especially at night.
  6. Share your location. Take advantage of rideshare apps’ safety features and share your geolocation with friends and family.
  7. Sit in the back seat. You’re safer in the backseat, both to protect you in a car crash and to lessen your chances of assault.
  8. Wear your seat belt. It’s always a good idea to wear seat belts, even if they’re not a legal requirement in your state. If you get into a car accident, they reduce the risk of injury and death.
  9. Track your route. Aside from sharing your location with friends, watch your trip on the map to monitor your progress and ensure you’re traveling the correct route.
  10. Call for help. If you feel unsafe, use the safety button in the app to call for help (or use a third-party app, which we discuss more below).
  11. End the trip. You can always end the trip if you don’t feel safe. Don’t feel obligated to finish it just because you paid for it. Ask the driver to pull over and get out of the car instead.


In 2020, 63 percent of people killed in motor vehicle accidents were drivers, while 27 percent were passengers, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).5

For Drivers

  1. Confirm their name. Just as the rider should ask for the driver’s name, the driver should always confirm that the right person is entering their vehicle.
  2. Exhibit safe driving behaviors. Avoid drowsy driving and distracted driving. Watch out for bikers and walkers, and keep your phone somewhere where you can see it without it being a distraction.
  3. Don’t share your PII. Similarly to riders, don’t share your personal information, aside from your first name.
  4. Buckle up. Not only should you wear your seat belt, but make sure you don’t start driving until all of your passengers are buckled in as well.
  5. Drop off legally. Stop your vehicle where it’s legal, avoiding loading zones and other non-permitted areas.
  6. Use the safety button and end the trip. Just as the rider can end the trip and call for help, so can you. You’re not obligated to complete the trip if you feel unsafe.
  7. Report misconduct. If you have a safety incident, report it to your rideshare company so they can handle it accordingly and prevent future safety incidents from occurring.
  8. Get rideshare insurance. Sure, you have insurance from Uber or Lyft directly, but did you know that this insurance only covers you when you have a rider in your car? You’re not covered while waiting for your next trip or driving to pick up a rider. To fill the gaps and protect yourself financially, you need the best rideshare insurance.

How to Report an Uber or Lyft Driver

Hopefully, you’re able to always use rideshare services without incident. However, if you need to report an Uber or Lyft driver, you can do so via their respective mobile apps or websites.


  1. Log in on the mobile app or online at
  2. Click “Help with a trip.”
  3. Click “Feedback about the driver or vehicle.”
  4. Click on the trip you want to report.
  5. Click “Next.”
  6. Select your feedback.
  7. Write any additional details.
  8. Click “Submit.”


  1. Log in on the mobile app or online at
  2. Click “I’m a rider.”
  3. Click “Something happened during my ride.”
  4. Click “Feedback on driver.”
  5. Click on your issue.
  6. Follow the prompts.

Should You Call a Lawyer?

Since laws about rideshare companies differ by state, whether you should call a lawyer following an accident or safety incident depends on where you live. In New York, for example, you may be able to sue following an Uber accident caused by one or more of the following issues.

  • Product liability: Illegal product implementation on roadways, like the Uber driver not watching the road properly because they were pairing with new riders for their next ride
  • Driver negligence: Negligent conduct, like the driver failing to stop at a stop sign or speeding
  • Manufacturer defects: Vehicle problems, like flat tires or faulty brakes6

Third-Party Safety Apps

Although Uber and Lyft have safety features built into their apps, there are third-party safety apps you can download as well.

App App Store rating (out of 5) Google Play rating (out of 5)
Life360 4.7 4.6
Noonlight 4.7 4.3


Just like the Uber and Lyft apps, the Life360 app lets you share your location with your “Circle,” get help with an SOS button, and reach 24/7 emergency assistance. The company also offers protection against identity theft and roadside assistance with some plans.7

Feature Free Plan Gold Plan Platinum Plan
Amount of stolen funds reimbursement $0 $25,000 $1,000,000
Amount of stolen phone protection $0 $250 $500
Crash detection Yes Yes Yes
Credit monitoring No No Yes
Crime reports No Yes Yes
Data breach alerts Yes Yes Yes
Disaster response No No Yes
Emergency dispatch No Yes Yes
Family driving summary Yes Yes Yes
Identity theft protection No Yes Yes
Individual driver reports No Yes Yes
Medical assistance No No Yes
Number of days of location history 2 30 30
Number of miles of free towing 0 5 50
Number of place alerts 2 Unlimited Unlimited
Roadside assistance No Yes Yes
SOS help alert Yes Yes Yes
Travel support No No Yes
Free trial length, days 0 7 7
Cost per year $0 $99.99 $199.99
Cost per month $0 $14.99 $24.99
Yearly savings n/a $79.89 $99.89


Noonlight is a similar app to Life360, with much more functionality on iPhones than Androids. It has a safety button, and with the Advanced Profile, it can share your medical information with first responders.8 Noonlight is significantly cheaper than Life360 but has fewer features.

>> Related: Car Insurance for First Responders


Features Basic Plan Instant Access Plan Total Protection Plan
Safety button iOS and Android iOS iOS
Timeline iPhone only iPhone only iPhone only
Safety network iPhone only iPhone only iPhone only
Advanced Profile iPhone only iPhone only iPhone only
iOS widget No Yes Yes
Apple Watch app No Yes Yes
Sync Uber and Lyft accounts No Yes Yes
Crash response No No Yes
Alexa skill No No Yes
Google Home service No No Yes
Sync IFTTT applets No No Yes
Free trial length, days No limit 30 30
Cost per year  $0 $60 $120
Cost per month $0 $5 $10
Yearly savings $0 $0 $0

If you want the most protection, Life360’s got you covered. You can save money with Noonlight, but keep in mind that the available features are similar to the functions already built into the Uber and Lyft apps, and the Android usability is limited.


Whether you’re a rider looking to feel safer on trips or a driver wanting to learn about rideshare insurance, it’s important to do whatever you can to protect yourself from crashes, assaults, injuries, and death. That said, Lyft and Uber trips are overwhelmingly safe, so if you take the proper precautions and use the technology at hand, you probably won’t have any issues when ridesharing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How safe is Uber for female passengers?

Generally, Uber is safe for female passengers. Be aware that in 2019 and 2020, there were 2,826 incidences of sexual assault on Uber trips in the U.S., accounting for 96 percent of the company’s total safety incidents. Out of these 2,826 sexual assaults, 388 were nonconsensual sexual penetration, or rape, a total of 14 percent of all sexual assaults. Of these 388 victims, 81 percent were women, as women are more likely to fall victim to sexual violence.

However, for both genders, sexual assault only occurred on 0.0001 percent of all Uber trips in 2019 and 2020, and safety incidents generally only occurred on 0.0003 percent of all trips. All in all, the chances of someone being raped on an Uber trip from 2019 to 2020 was one in 5 million. Across all rides, 99.9997 percent occurred without safety incidents, according to Uber’s safety report.

Can you choose a female driver on Uber?

As of March 2023, you cannot choose a female driver for Uber in the U.S.

Is a cab safer than Uber?

There is not enough data available to determine whether a cab is safer than an Uber because cities do not report assaults by where they occur, such as in a rideshare service or taxi.

Why is Uber safer than Lyft?

Uber was safer than Lyft, as of 2019 and 2020, due to its decreased incidences of sexual assault and motor vehicle fatalities. In that time period, Uber had a sexual assault rate 72 percent lower and a motor vehicle fatality rate 31 percent lower than Lyft. However, one area in which Lyft is safer than Uber is physical assault. Uber’s physical assault rate was 46 percent higher than Lyft’s.


  1. US Safety Report 2019-2020. Uber. (2022, Jun 30).

  2. Community Safet Report. Lyft. (2023).

  3. RAINN Partners with Lyft to Create a Culture of Safety and Respect. RAINN. (2019, Sep 10).

  4. ADT Further Expands Mobile Reach with Lyft Partnership. ADT. (2019, Oct 14).

  5. Fatality and Injury Reporting System Tool (FIRST). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2023).

  6. New York Uber Accidents. Uber Lawyer. (2023).

  7. Membership Plans Built for Modern Life. Life360. (2023).

  8. Caring humans looking out for you, day and night. Noonlight. (2023).