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April 20 | 2017

10 Reasons You Should Be Talking About Taxi/Uber Driver Safety Tips

The taxicab business is a very different one from most occupations, and there is a very real and high risk of personal danger.

The last report on workplace violence and homicide places taxi drivers in the unenviable spot of most dangerous occupation in North America at the present time.

Interior view of a man driving his private taxi through the city streets at night

1. Check all emergency equipment at the start of your shift

Each day when you start your shift, the first thing you should do is a complete “circle check” of the vehicle. Check the inside of the vehicle. Check to see that your “emergency” light switch is working and that the emergency equipment is in working order. Make sure that the CHECKMATE Professional Safety app is installed on your phone or that Checkmate SOS is charged and ready for your shift.

2. Be alert and aware

You must stay alert and aware of what is going on around you at all times – whether you are parked or driving.

3. Do not flash or display your money

Do not wear any type of expensive watch, neck chains, or wrist bracelets. If your passenger offers you a large denomination bill, advise them that you will take them to get it changed at a nearby store. DO NOT show them that you have money to change it.

4. Greet and maintain eye contact with the fare when picking up

It is essential that you make eye contact with each and every one of your passengers. Try to do it as they are entering your vehicle. The reason is simple: To greet them as a customer and send a subtle message to them: “I see you – you see me – I can identify you.”

5. Keep an eye on suspicious passengers

Depending on the risk level that you have assessed your customer, you want to keep some type of watch over them while they are in your taxi. When you feel very uncomfortable or suspicious of your passengers make absolutely sure to keep your CHECKMATE Professional Safety app Safety Check feature on.

6. Trust your instincts

All of your life, while growing up, you learned things and stored the experiences in your mind. These learned experiences make up our “data” banks. These banks provide us with knowledge and understanding. These banks are what causes your instincts to react. These reactions are very real. Your gut instinct will be right 99% of the time. Listen to what your body is telling you!

7. Know the city

One of the key causes of disputes and arguments is in not knowing your way around the city and taking your customers by the wrong route. This will get them angry, and disputes can quickly turn into assaults, or worse.

8. Never, ever, drive into alleys or back lanes

Never do this, if at all possible. Tell your customer that company policy states “no back lanes or alleys”. Keep your vehicle running, in drive gear, and keep your foot on the brake pedal. This way, if things go bad, you can simply step on the gas and get out of harm’s way.

9. Look for an escape opportunity

As in any situation, for example Defensive Driving, we must always be preparing an escape route or plan. If you are being robbed, think about it without showing any sign of it to the robber. It is a move of last resort, so plan it carefully.

10. Keep calm – do not panic

Yes, this is easy to say, but hard to put into practice. It is most important that you stay as calm as possible. You must call on your innermost resources to stay calm and in control of the situation to a point.

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