MASSACHUSETTS (WTNH) — When you get into a car from a ride-sharing service, can you really trust who’s behind the wheel?
That’s the question Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) is asking, calling out apps like Uber and Lyft over safety concerns.
The answer to some of those concerns could be in a new app.
“When you climb into a ride-share service, you’re essentially putting your life into the hands of a stranger,” said Francy Wade, Communications Director for BestRides — a new app that tracks your location while you use services like Lyft and Uber.
“BestRides allows you to take the safety and put it back into your control,” said Wade.
The app, which was created in Massachusettes, allows users to track their rides from the moment they get in the car until they reach their destination — tracking the person’s location throughout the entire trip.
The app will send text updates to an emergency contact, letting them know if the ride has gone off course.
BestRides also features a timer, gauging how long a route should take and will send out a text if the rider hasn’t hit “arrived safely” within the appropriate time.
“It’ll send out a text to my contacts saying something’s wrong,” said head of development Marc Fantasia.
It features a panic button too — on the user’s phone and/or smartwatch. Users can even call 911 directly from the app.
“When I hit the panic button, it’s going to send the same text to my contacts saying ‘something’s wrong, here’s where Marc is, give him a call,'” said Fantasia.
Uber and Lyft have made a point to add in-app safety features, but this third-party option is another way to let your loved ones know exactly where you are.
“Our take on it is, forget Uber and Lyft, take them out of the equation and put safety back in your hands and in the hands of your family and friends,” said Fantasia.
People can also use BestRides to track a trip in a cab, out on a run, or while on a walk home.
Uber and Lyft both recommend sharing ride information with a friend or family member and to always verify the car and driver before you get in.