The Worst Thing to Do When Using a Rideshare Service Amid Coronavirus


Rideshares like Uber and Lyft are still running amid the coronavirus pandemic, albeit with certain limitations. And as more states lift lockdown orders, it’s likely that people will congregate with their friends for summer road trips in their cars. However, during this time, precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 must still be made. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the worst thing you can do when getting in someone else’s car or using a rideshare service during the coronavirus pandemic is sitting in the passenger seat.

“Tell the passenger to sit in the back seat; do not let passengers sit in the front seat,” the CDC warns rideshare, taxi, limo, and other passenger drivers-for-hire. Though passengers may not be able to maintain six feet of distance in a car, placing them behind the front passenger seat keeps the driver safer and also allows them to place a protective screen between the front seats and the back seats. If you are getting into a larger vehicle, such as a van or bus, the CDC says asks that “passengers sit six feet from the driver,” in the farthest seats from the driver’s seat.

Young Man Riding on a Passenger Seat of a Car Makes a Phone Call, Talks with Clients, Customers and Business Associates. Camera Shot from Outside the Vehicle.

“Select an XL option, which is usually a minivan or large SUV. This will ensure extra space between you and your driver,” says Alex Miller, vice president of marketing for Up Hail, an app that helps people with rideshares, ridehails, and taxis. “Also, sit in the back seat and keep the windows open. An open window means more ventilation which can reduce airborne respiratory droplets. Since Uber and Lyft have both temporarily suspended shared or pooled rides, the front seat should always be empty.”

The CDC also asks that passengers wear protective cloth face coverings when riding in someone else’s car, and to cover their mouth and nose with tissues if they cough or sneeze. For any passengers “intentionally spreading their germs” inside a driver-for-hire vehicle, the CDC advises drivers to immediately report them to their rideshare company. And for more CDC-recommended ways to stay safe during the coronavirus, Don’t Make This Mistake When You’re in Your Car, the CDC Says.

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