By PAIGE FLANNERY
Last Friday, University of South Carolina student Samantha Josephson was found dead in a field 14 hours after she got into a black Chevy Impala that she thought was her Uber.
Over the past week since her passing, there have been many services held in both Columbia, S.C,, where she attended school, as well as in her hometown in Princeton, N.J.
The story of Samantha’s death has gone viral, and people everywhere have been speaking out about the topic. Samantha’s family has called on companies such as Uber and Lyft to take action to make their rides safer and for the companies to hold themselves accountable. A petition was made for these companies to implement QR codes to verify both the driver and passenger’s identity before getting in the vehicle.
On the other end of the spectrum, the hashtag #WhatsMyName has been trending, which is being used to spread awareness about ride-share safety by urging any Uber or Lyft customers to ask the driver who the car is for before getting in the vehicle.
Although everyone would benefit from companies like Uber and Lyft taking action to make their rides safer, it is really the customer’s responsibility to keep themselves safe. In Samantha’s case, she didn’t realize that the car she got into wasn’t her uber until it was too late. However, she and other ride-sharing customers should always confirm the driver’s identity as well as their license plate before entering the vehicle.
Even if Uber had already put the QR code initiative in motion, there is still the possibility that customers don’t use it and still get into the wrong car. In this case, it is on the customer rather than the company.
As tragic as Samantha’s death is, if she had looked at the license plate before getting in the vehicle, she would still be alive today and Uber could not have done anything to prevent that.