Uber has long been my go to ride sharing app. The game changed when ride sharing was introduced in my small, north Texas town. The ride sharing industry here was cornered by outrageously priced taxi companies for way too many years Do not get me wrong, I have had some unpleasant trips, but not to the magnitude of negative experiences with Lyft. Uber’s customer service has been quick to help when I have needed, as well as sometimes when I did not.
Today, Uber announced that customers will have the option of contacting 911, or emergency services, directly through the app. While the technology has been in trial tests for the past couple of years, Uber is implementing it across the U.S. Without further ado, here is how you contact 911 during an Uber ride:
- 1. Tap the blue shield in the bottom-right corner to open the Safety Toolkit.2. Tap 911 Assistance.
3. Select Text 911to send a pre-populated SMS.
It does not matter whether you call or text, the emergency button lets you quickly share information with 911 dispatchers. When you text 911, the app pre-populates a SMS with trip details, including car make and model, license plate number, and location, so authorities can quickly respond and dispatch help.
The only catch is that this option is only available in certain counties within the United States. If you text 911 and it is not available, you will receive a response indicating so. The first city was Denver, as trial, but it has expanded to more than major 250 U.S. cities. The technology is also being tested in Mexico.
This is great for Uber, but more importantly, the overall safety of the passengers. I commend Uber for leading such positive change in its industry. It is my wish that other companies follow suit.