4 Safety Tips When Using E-Hailing Services

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1670145624240 E Hailing Safety Tips Featured

(Photo Credit: Unsplash)

E-hailing apps have established their presence in Malaysia to be an efficient and decently affordable (well, most of the time) transport option. 

However, it does come with some potential safety concerns. You are, after all, getting into a stranger’s car. You might argue that the danger has always been present back when taxis were king but there’s a certain level of visibility and accountability that taxis have that just isn’t there in private hire vehicles.

With the holiday season upon us, you might find yourself using e-hailing apps more frequently. If so, it might be wise to take note of the following safety tips!

1. Check a car’s child-lock function

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1670145846656 Ensure Childlock Disengaged(Photo Credit: ctecho)

An escape route is key in many emergency situations. Someone with ill intentions looking to keep you trapped in their vehicle might have activated the child-lock function which stops anyone in the passenger seats from opening the doors. With that in mind, it would be wise to ensure that this is not the case upon entering the vehicle. We understand that having to ask the driver is a harrowing thought because of what it might imply, especially since most drivers have no such ill intentions. 

Thankfully, there is a less confrontational way to ensure you're not child-locked in, just use your eyes! The child-lock is situated near the car door's latch which means you can glance at it just as you enter the vehicle. Locks may differ in how they look but generally, it's a small lever with a label. Usually, if the lever is up, it means that the child-lock is not activated, and vice versa. 

 2. Share your live location

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This PSA represents one of the risks that come with the new age of technology. However, the digital age has also come with its own set of useful tools that could help keep us safe. Location sharing is one such tool that has been integrated into many of the apps we use today, ride-hailing apps included. Alternatively, you could use messaging apps such as Whatsapp and Telegram which have these features.

It would be wise to share your live location with a friend or family member, especially if you're taking a ride somewhere you're unfamiliar with. If anything happens, others will know where you are and can get you help promptly. 

 3. Take note of SOS options

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1670146063017 Sos Call(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Similar to sharing your live location, the SOS feature in apps is also helpful in notifying others that you need help. For example, Grab has an SOS button that immediately sends an SOS SMS to your emergency contacts. You could also take advantage of the SOS feature on your phone and remember, you will always be able to dial 999 even if your phone is locked.

 4. Ensure your driver is on the designated route

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1670146234798 Designated Route(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Most ride-hailing apps will ask you to set a destination and a pick-up point. They will then calculate the fare via the established route. This route is usually the quickest way to get you to your destination, taking into consideration road conditions and tolls.

Some drivers will ask you if there's a specific route you would want to take or if you're okay with them taking a different route which they feel would be better for one reason or another. If you're unfamiliar with the area you're heading into, it would be wise to let your driver know that you are comfortable with the route the app has set for you and that he should stick to it. During the trip, occasionally check the app to ensure you are on the designated route so that you can detect any unwanted scenarios early and get help before it becomes too late. 

In conclusion...

It is important to remember that this article isn't trying to discourage you from using e-hailing services. Grab, MyCar and the like are great apps to use for many different situations arising from necessity or convenience. Let this article serve to be a reminder to always be mindful of your situations, especially during festivities that makes it very easy to let your guard down!.

As always, stay safe Motorists!

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