Lyft is adding a panic button so riders can dial 911 from the app

Lyft announced on Tuesday several new initiatives that are designed to improve the safety of its passengers. The company is adding a panic button on the app for passengers who need to call 911. (Did the same for the driver's application at the end of last year).

Other changes include an expanded version of the driver's license plate number in the application, which is an effort to prevent passengers from entering the wrong vehicle. The changes come a month after a student at the University of South Carolina was allegedly killed by a man posing as his Uber driver.

However, not all changes are directed to customers. Lyft is also offering sexual harassment prevention training to all of its drivers in light of the numerous incidents of harassment or assault that have occurred in hail ride vehicles in recent years.

A 2018 report from CNN found that 103 Uber drivers and 18 Lyft drivers had been charged with sexual abuse or assault. Both companies conduct background checks and say that passenger safety is their top priority.

Finally, Lyft will require passengers to provide comments each time they rate a driver with less than four stars. That information will be communicated anonymously to the driver so that they can see the reasons for the low rating.

Since it was made public in recent months, both Lyft and Uber are grappling with an increasingly angry workforce of drivers who demand higher profits and greater responsibility for the horseback riding companies.

Today's announcement is the latest in a series of Lyft product updates that focus on security. Last month, the company said it would institute a policy of continuous background check and enhanced identity verification for drivers. Uber implemented continuous background checks last year, almost at the same time it added a panic button inside the app for customers.

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