Uber will start reminding passengers to wear their seat belt

It's a simple feature that could save lives.


Starting today, the Uber app will remind you to put on your seatbelt shortly after your ride starts. Passengers' tendency to not use a seat belt remains a significant concern, the ride-hailing service wrote in its announcement of the new safety feature, even though 50 percent of all vehicle crash deaths in the US in 2022 was caused by their non-usage. Now, your driver's phone will issue an audio reminder when you hop on, telling you to "Please use your seat belt for your safety." You'll also get a push notification on your phone at the same time that says: "Even on a short ride and seated in the back, use a seat belt for safety."

The company first started testing audio seat belt alerts in 2021 based on feedback from drivers. It said at the time that it believes the alerts will "increase seat belt use and help drivers ensure a safe environment while on a trip." This rollout makes it widely available in the US, UK, Taiwan, Latin America, as well as several countries in Africa. Uber intends to bring it to more territories in the future.

The feature will only be enabled for your first five trips after the feature launches. Uber is likely hoping you'll get used to putting your seat belt on after those first five times, though it will send you a notification every 10th trip thereafter. The company also recently launched a new safety preferences section where you can find and automate the service's safety tools. From there, you can automatically switch on features like audio recording, PIN verification, RideCheck and Share My Trip.

A screenshot of a phone screen with an Uber notification reminding the user to put on their seat belt.