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Get Home Safely | SpareRoom

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At SpareRoom, we strive to highlight the benefits of sharing - sharing homes, sharing rides - we love it all. That being said, it never hurts to have a reminder to be cautious in situations where you're alone and meeting a stranger for the first time, so we've put together a list to help you get home safely. Whether you're meeting a potential roommate or hopping in a rideshare, it's always better to be safe than sorry!

1. Double check the car and driver.

This may seem like common sense, but you'd be surprised how many people simply hop in a car that pulls up alongside them without thinking to check if it really is their ride. Take a quick look at the car's make, model and license plate to make sure they match your app notification before getting inside.

2. Make THEM identify YOU.

Here's an all too familiar scenario: you open the door to your Lyft or Uber, state your name and ask if they're here for you. The driver then either nods or repeats your name back to you, says yes, and you quickly jump in. It's a no-no and, luckily, has a quick fix. Instead of giving your name first, you flip the question around: either "who are you here to pick up?" or "what's my name?" should do the trick. That way, the driver will have to confirm that you are his or her intended pick up.

3. Map your own route.

This is particularly helpful if you're in an unfamiliar area or city. Look for notable streets or landmarks and alert your driver (and a friend!) if you think he or she is deviating too far from the route.

4. Limit personal details during chitchat.

With drivers, your conversation mantra should be "pleasant, not personal." In New York City, this isn't a huge issue since drivers here tend not to be Chatty Cathys, but in other parts of the country, you can get a really talkative driver. Keep the chitchat surface level and avoid giving out your contact info or places you like to frequent.

5. Sit in the back seat.

Being in the back seat, specifically the seat directly behind the passenger seat, gives you the most room to maneuver and provides the best line of sight to anything your driver is doing up front - if he or she is texting and driving, you'll have a direct view and always wear your seatbelt!

6. Use in-app notification settings.

Uber and Lyft have developed in-app features that allow riders to share their ETA with friends, family or whoever you're meeting at your destination. Don't be afraid to take advantage of them!

7. Strategically enter and exit the vehicle.

You can always spot a person on the lookout for their ride: phone in hand, glancing at cars going slowly or parked with hazards on, even slowly approaching some of them to ask the inevitable "are you here for me?" While it's tempting, don't make yourself an easy target; instead, wait inside wherever you're leaving from or the nearest starbucks, hotel lobby, etc. and don't come out until you get the notification that your driver has arrived. Similarly, it's ok to wait and make sure that the driver leaves before you head inside your house or apartment. Do whatever feels right to you.

8. Share your experience.

Last but not least, share your experience in the appropriate channels. As a user based platform, feedback is the ultimate tool for companies to judge the consumer experience. If you got that gut feeling that made you uncomfortable, it can't hurt to share it via the app. Who knows, you could've just averted disaster for someone else. While you should by no means be paranoid, it's always helpful to keep your wits about you as it relates to your safety. Like we said, better safe than sorry!

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