Useful safety tips for car-hailing rides

BY :Kinny Chen SilkRoadPost

UPDATED :August 31, 2018


Share this with

The recent tragic rape and murder of a Didi passenger in Yueqing of Zhejiang province once again sparked huge concern over the safety of those who use online car-hailing services. Part of that concern focuses on the question of how to best protect yourself on a ride. The following tips may be of some help if you encounter any emergencies.

1. Different functions on car-hailing apps to keep you safe

The following settings on car-hailing apps can offer at least some protection on a ride. Take the app, Didi, for instance.

Firstly, you can add emergency contacts on the app. Click "设置" (setting) and "紧急联系人" (emergency contacts). You can include up to five emergency contacts.

Secondly, share your locations with your friends and family. You can do so by clicking "行程安全" (trip safety) and "自动分享行程" (share locations automatically). You can also set up the period you want to share your locations on the option "设置时间段."

Thirdly, call for help during an emergency. Click "紧急求助" and "滴滴安全客服," and the system will make a recording, send your real-time location and notify your emergency contacts after a countdown. If you want to cancel it, click "我已安全, 取消求助" before the countdown is over.

2. Send a message to the police

Friends and family may not be able to attend to your emergency promptly. At that moment, you can send a message to 12110 to call the police. Your message should include the plate number, the pick-up time, the route and the characteristics of the driver and the car.

3. Set up the function of SOS on iPhone

If you are an iPhone user, you can set up an SOS function for emergency calling. Quickly press the power button five times, and the function will be activated.

You can add three people onto the SOS function contact list. Once the function is on, the system will send a message and your location to your emergency contacts.

The function will be activated until a three-second countdown is over. During the countdown, the system will sound an alarm. If you trigger the function by accident, you can click the "X" to cancel it.

How to set the SOS function?

1. Click "Emergency SOS" in "Settings."

2. Click "Auto Call" and "Set up Emergency Contacts in Health" to add your emergency contacts.

4. "Wechat police" escorts you on night ride

To use the service, you first need to follow the Wechat account, "广州天河公安," and conduct a real-name authentication (click "点击此处验证"). Then click "服务警讯," "微服务" and "微护航," and you can see the system page.

Click "开始护航," and the "escort" will begin. You will first hear a dignified male voice saying in Chinese, "Tianhe police are now escorting you. We've got your location at the moment. If you encounter any emergencies, please call the police immediately." This voice prompt serves as a deterrence, warning potential law breakers that the police are keeping an eye on the situation.

The system will report a user's real-time positions to Tianhe police every 60 seconds. The trail of the recorded positions looks as if a policeman were escorting the user throughout the ride.

If you do come across an emergency during the ride, you can click "紧急报警." However, the "escort" service will cease when you lock your mobile phone screen or exit the system page.