Prioritising safety while driving with Uber
From picking up the right rider to knowing when to call for assistance, here are ways to help make every trip stress-free.
Looking for rider information? Switch to the rider safety page.
Driver safety tips
We build our technology with your safety in mind. But actions you might take can also help protect yourself. We consulted with law enforcement to create these tips to help you stay safe while driving with Uber.
1. Verifying your rider
Riders are asked to find you by checking that your licence plate, the make and model of your car, and your photo match what’s shown in their app. You can also feel free to ask riders to confirm your name before entering your vehicle.
2. Staying focused on driving
You can help keep roads safe by staying alert, keeping your eyes on the road and resting when needed to prevent drowsy driving. Remember: texting while driving is illegal in most states and countries. Some drivers use a mount to position their phone in a place where they can easily see it, to help reduce dangerous distractions. In some cities, laws require them.
3. Protecting your personal information
We use technology that anonymises your phone number when you call or message your passenger through the app so they won’t see your personal number.*
4. Encouraging back-seat riders
You can consider inviting riders who are traveling solo to sit in the back seat. This allows them to safely exit from either side of the vehicle to avoid traffic and also gives you both some personal space.
5. Spreading the word to buckle up
In many places, seat belt use is required by law, for both drivers and riders. It’s also the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car crashes.
6. Watching for pedestrians and cyclists
General rules of the road say to be on the lookout for people who are walking and biking. This is especially important when you’re pulling over for a drop-off or pickup, and when you're driving at night.
7. Keeping your drop-offs legal
Knowing local laws about where you can drop off riders can help when you encounter loading zones, parked vehicles and more.
8. Following your intuition
Trust your instincts and experience and use your best judgement when driving with Uber. If you ever feel you're in an emergency situation, you can get urgent help by using the Emergency button in your app. And remember, if you feel unsafe you can end the ride at any time.
9. Being kind and respectful
10. Giving us feedback
After each trip, you have the opportunity to rate your rider from 1 to 5 stars and add your comments through the Help section in your app. Our 24/7 response team will review the incident.
And remember, on every trip you can tap the shield icon in the app to access Uber’s Safety Toolkit and get help whenever you need it.
Keeping you safe in New Zealand
Safe driving is at the heart of the Uber experience. That's why we continue to develop technology that helps make millions of rides safer everyday. We work closely with law enforcement, and all trips taken on the Uber app are tracked via GPS.
Following Community Guidelines
As per our Community Guidelines, driver-partners are expected to follow New Zealand road rules at all times. This includes:
- Keeping to the speed limit and adjusting speed according to road conditions
- Always wearing a safety belt and ensuring riders do the same
- Observing all road rules and traffic signage
- Always using a phone mount
- Not texting while driving
- Never driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and
- Not driving if you're tired or fatigued
For detailed information on your state's road rules, please visit the New Zealand Transport Agency website on road safety.
Emergencies and accidents
Unfortunately, sometimes unforeseen incidents do occur on the road. If you are involved in an accident while using the Uber app, you should contact emergency services immediately by calling 000.
Once any emergency has passed, it's important that you let us know what happened. Driver-partners and riders can contact us on in-app help or online at help.uber.com. For more information on what to do in the event of an emergency or crash, please visit this website.
Driving while tired or fatigued
Driving for long periods without a break increases risk of dangerous driving incidents related to fatigue. Research has shown that fatigue can have a similar effect on your driving performance as being intoxicated, and that fatigue is one of the biggest killers on New Zealand roads.
To help safeguard you and your riders’ safety, Uber’s Community Guidelines say that if you’re driving and feel tired, you should take a break. Additionally, the NZTA Work-time and logbook requirements page now includes obligations for driver-partners to manage risks regarding health and safety (such as fatigue).
To help you comply with these safety obligations, the Uber app lets you know how many hours you spend driving. You’ll be notified when you have been online and driving for 12 hours. After that, you’ll need to take a break and you will be unable to receive new trip requests for at least 6 hours. If a trip is already in progress, you can complete it before the 6 hour break.
While the Uber app has features to help you comply with your legal requirements, you have a personal responsibility to ensure that you do not drive while fatigued. For more information, please see the Logmate page.
Your behaviour can impact on the safety and comfort of others. In line with our Community Guidelines, everyone on-trip is expected to treat each other with respect and courtesy.
Under New Zealand law, there are also specific offences regarding:
- Smoking while driving
- Offensive behaviour by drivers
- Refusing trips with assistance animals
- Touting and soliciting for passengers
Uber takes seriously reports of physical contact, inappropriate and abusive language or gestures, discrimination, unwanted contact after a trip and breaking the law while using the Uber app. If made aware of these kinds of unacceptable behaviour, we may contact you to find out more information and take further action in relation to your access to the Uber app.
Behaviours such as violence, sexual misconduct, harassment or illegal activity while using the Uber app can result in the immediate loss of access to the Uber app. If you are exposed to this kind of incident while using the Uber app, you should contact emergency services immediately by calling 000.
Once the incident has passed, it’s important that you let us know what happened. Driver-partners and riders can contact us on in-app help or online at help.uber.com. Reporting specific incidents to us helps increase safety for you, your passengers and for other Uber driver-partners.
Incidents which involve reports being made to the police and alleged illegal behaviour may be reportable by Uber to government authorities under the Land Transport Amendment Act 2017.
We also work with law enforcement on particular incidents. Requests for information received from law enforcement will be responded to according to Uber policies, terms and applicable laws.
Safe pickups and dropoffs
Picking riders up
When picking up a rider, New Zealand road rules apply to how you pull over. Always remember to:
- Find a safe and appropriate spot to pull over - be sure to use your indicators.
- Ensure the vehicle has come to a complete stop before letting riders enter.
- If you need to wait for a rider, keep your doors locked until they have arrived.
- Encourage riders to enter from the kerbs, away from traffic.
- Double check to ensure all riders have fully entered the vehicle, closed all doors and are safely buckled up before driving away.
- Once pick up is complete, turn off hazard lights, indicate that you are pulling out and merge safely into traffic
To assist the pick up experience, if a rider chooses a difficult pickup point, the Uber rider app may suggest a better one to them. Your app also allows you to contact your rider if they are in a spot where you can’t safely pick them up.
Dropping riders off
When dropping off a rider, New Zealand road rules apply to how you pull over your vehicle. Always remember to:
- Find a safe and appropriate spot to pull over - be sure to use your indicators.
- Be aware of your surroundings - conditions may change quickly. Other vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians may create hazards.
- Use your hazard lights once you arrive at the drop off spot and throughout the duration of the drop off.
- Ensure the vehicle has come to a complete stop before letting riders exit
- Encourage passengers to exit on kerbside, away from traffic.
- Double check to ensure all riders have fully exited the vehicle and are safely on the footpath before driving away.
- Once drop off is complete, turn off your hazard lights, indicate that you are pulling out and merge safely into traffic.
If your rider refuses to follow your instructions regarding these safety tips, please let us know via in-app help or online at help.uber.com.
Building safer journeys for everyone
Learn more about safety at Uber
Uber is committed to driver safety. Learn how safety is built into the Driver app and driver experience, from insurance coverage to in-app support.
Our commitment to safety
Uber is committed to everyone’s safety. Learn more, including how safety is built into the rider and driver experiences, in the app and beyond.
*In the case of an outage of this feature, phone numbers might not be anonymised.