In June 2021, social media users enthusiastically shared a post that appeared to show a safety feature of the ride-sharing application Lyft, whereby users in vehicles that deviate from the expected route receive a notification from the app, which allows them to contact emergency services in the event they are in danger.
On June 4, the Shannon’s Tea Cup Party Facebook page posted what appeared to be a screenshot from the Lyft app, containing the following text:
Just checking in
It looks like you’re not heading to your destination. Do you need help?
- Report safety issue or accident
- Get emergency help
- No Thanks
A user of the internet forum Reddit published a similar post in April 2021, which contained a similar screenshot and the explanation: “Lyft sees your driver taking a different route and it checks in on you.”
Those posts referred to a real safety feature on Lyft, and we are therefore issuing a rating of “True.”
In response to our questions, a spokesperson for the company told Snopes that the screenshot contained in the Shannon’s Tea Cup Party Facebook post showed the “Smart Trip Check-in” safety feature in action:
In some instances, if we notice a ride that appears to be irregular, we can reach out to riders and drivers directly. This may include rides that have ended far from the intended destination, been cancelled after pickup, gone off-route or stopped for an abnormal amount of time. We’ll ask users if they need help, and if appropriate, connect them to emergency assistance or our own Safety team.
Depending on each Lyft user’s notification settings, the check-in feature will result in either a push notification sent through the app itself, or a text message to the user’s phone.
Although many social media users discovered the feature for the first time in the spring and summer of 2021, Lyft’s spokesperson told Snopes it was first launched in early 2020.