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San Diego law firm offers safety tips for Lyft and Uber riders ahead of New Year's Eve

Posted at 5:37 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 20:37:31-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A San Diego law firm representing more than 100 women who say they were sexually assaulted by either Uber of Lyft drivers, is offering safety tips ahead of New Year's Eve celebrations.

Estey & Bomberger attorney Steve Estey tells 10News some of his clients were assaulted during the holidays last year.

Working with the clients, he and his partner, Mike Bomberger, have developed the following list of best practices passengers can follow to stay safe in rides.

RELATED: Free bus and trolley rides being made available in San Diego on New Year's Eve

• Record your rides with a voice recording app.

• Find the Uberand Lyft in-app “emergency buttons” that connect you to 911 dispatchers.

• Tell a friend of family member when you're taking a ride and give them your destination and estimated arrival time.

• Screenshot your confirmed ride and driver information.

• Make sure your driver knows your name when you approach their vehicle.

• Never sit in the front seat.

• Sit in the backseat, but make sure the child locks are not on.

• FaceTime or call a friend or relative during the duration of the ride.

"The problem is a lot of these predators are attracted to this platform because it’s a situation where you have these vulnerable women who have been drinking and these predators don’t have any supervision," said Estey. "They have minimal background checks and it creates and opportunity to take advantage of these women."

Uber released a report this month revealing that over two years, nearly 6,000 passengers were sexually assaulted during rides. Lyft has yet to release its numbers.

"It’s better if you have a buddy system, someone go with you," said Estey. "If that’s not possible when you leave a place, you want to make sure someone knows what time you’re leaving and when you’ll get home."

Drivers can also be put in dangerous situations. They are encouraged to pay attention to the passenger's behavior, check the passenger's ratings and also let their friends and family know when they're driving.