Safety tips for women when availing Uber/ Ola or cabs in India

The horrific rape incident of 2013, that rattled the whole society, is enough to send shivers down the spine. Although a lot was changed after that incident, in terms of laws, the safety of women using public transport or the general safety for women on road still raises questions. This year itself, the crime rate has increased about 63% against women. Uber and other cab services have certainly made our lives easy, but still, we have to be cautious especially when traveling late at night. You have to be vigilant and take care of yourself because we cannot always depend on the already burdened police department. Here are 5 important safety tips for women that can make their cab commute more safe and sound.

“Taxi, Taxi!” by Damian Morys Photography is licensed under CC BY 2.0

1. Always note down the details of the cab

All these cab services have their apps and the whole process has gone online. So whenever you book a cab, you always get the basic details of the cab like the cab number, driver’s name, etc. You must make a habit of sharing these details with your family members or some other person who can be trusted during emergencies. Even in the case of an ordinary cab, you should note down the number physically. Telling the cab details over a call during the ride will alert the driver that you are a vigilant person and not to be messed with. This little habit can go a long way and has proven, multiple times, to be helpful for female commuters in several cases.

2. Make your ear/eye your best friend 

The next important tip for safety for women on road is that you must be always vigilant about any suspicious behavior. If you feel that the driver doesn’t feel trustworthy or is in an inebriated condition, then you should always skip the cab. When you enter the cab, make sure that the child lock is not activated and the windows are functioning fine. During night time, try to catch the cab in a well-lit area, where there are enough people present. In the cab too, try to talk continuously to someone over a phone, updating them about the location and how long it will take to reach the destination. Never divulge any personal information to the driver. Being vigilant is the best antidote to crimes.

3. Shared rides

If you happen to work late at night, or you are going home after a movie, etc, then it is best to travel in a group. It makes sure you are not traveling alone or are with strangers. In case of any emergency too, having a group of people is far better than being alone. Still, you should not forget the golden rule of being vigilant and must follow basic safety rules as discussed above. Ola/Uber share is also a good option as you get all the details of your co-passenger and you can share your ride if they are going in the same direction. You can forward the details to your near and dear ones so that they can take action in case of an emergency.  

4. Equip yourself

There are loads of things available these days that can help you in self-defense. Being vigilant is one thing, but having some form of weapon helps a lot. Things like pepper spray and taser guns can save your life. You should also practice them if you are new to these devices. Having a muscle memory will help you take quick action in case of some unfortunate incident. You should also think about getting self-defense training if you travel a lot during the wee hours. There are many smartwatches available through which you can send an SOS signal with just a press of a button. Always remember, the law authorizes you to take any self-defense action if someone is trying to commit a crime on you, you must not have any two thoughts about it. 

5. Always take a familiar route

The good thing about taking a cab is that you can always instruct the driver as to what route to take. Taking shortcuts can be tempting when you wish to reach early, but saving maybe 5 minutes is not worth your safety. If the driver is trying to take a suspicious route then always question it. Do not hesitate to contact the police authorities or send an SOS signal if you have even the slightest doubt about the intentions of the driver. In case you are going somewhere where you are not familiar with the route, note down the major landmarks you see during your journey and share them with someone trusted if possible. Be extra cautious and vigilant in that case


By following these measures for safety for women on road, one can at least greatly decrease the probability of any unfortunate incident. The root problem, however, will still be present. We, as a citizen of this country, share equal responsibility of being vigil and taking action against dangerous elements. If you see a crime happening with a woman, stop and help and raise an alarm. We cannot discharge all the responsibilities to the police authorities. If our constitution has given fundamental rights to us, then we also have been given equal fundamental duties. Let us make a vigilant society where the unsocial elements think twice before taking any wrong step. 

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