Driving profession is considered as one of the dangerous jobs in the world. Although, the income taxi drivers earn running taxis are high, it certainly has its flaws. Due to recent taxi crime that left the taxi driver nearly blind on June 2nd, 2014 and other several taxi crimes in the recent years, taxi drivers should really be careful and adapt to the safety rules. Here is the list of top ten safety rules that taxi drivers need to adhere in order to be safe on the road.
1. Be alert and aware
Being alert at all times reduces the chance of any violent taxi crime. So, always be alert and aware of your surroundings whether you are parked or driving. In order to be alert, you must take proper rest and eat well. Plus, you also need to use defensive driving tactics.
2. Do not flash your money
While you are driving, you should not wear expensive things such as watch, neck chains and bracelets. Even if your passenger offers a large value bill, advise him to get change at a nearby store. You shouldn’t show you have the money to change it.
3. Size up your passenger and access risk
Whenever you pick up passengers, study, access them and act according to it. Because there is always a slight chance that most passengers will pose some level of threat to you.
4. Have a full knowledge of the city
It is very important that you study and remember all the routes and streets of the city. This will help to reduce any negative action by your passenger. If you aren’t aware of the city’s routes, it can give rise to disputes and arguments which can turn into assaults or even worse.
5. Have a radio and connecter
Radio is one of the important devices in your taxi which helps you to connect with your dispatcher. Whenever you are in trouble, you can press on the radio’s emergency buttons which will broadcast a signal to the cab control room.
6. Trust your instincts
Always believe and listen to your instincts because your gut instinct will be right 99% of the time. And, if you feel uneasy and do not like the look of the passenger, then there is probably something wrong and it is best not to pick up the passenger.
7. Know your emergency procedures
Every taxi cab company has a set of emergency procedure rules. You must know about these rules as they are for you and your personal safety.
8. Keep the taxi windows rolled up and doors locked
Keep the taxi window open just wide enough to speak with the passenger. You should make sure not to open it all the way so that the passenger can grab, pull you out of your car and attack you. Also, keep your doors locked at all times regardless if you are sitting at a taxi stand or parked on the street.
9. Be extra careful late at night
Night time is the most dangerous hours to operate. You need to be extra cautious between 6:00 pm in the evening and 6:00 am in the morning. To be more precise, time between 12:00 midnight and 04:00 am are very unsafe because most robberies and assaults occur at this time. Besides, if a crime happens to you, there will be only few people around as witnesses at these hours.
10. Beware of customers who give you vague instructions
Vague instructions won’t do it. So, before you start driving, you should ask your passengers to give a fixed destination as to where they are going.
11. Be careful and always keep eye on the passengers seated behind you
Make sure to never let the passengers sit directly behind you. As 80% of all assaults and homicides take place from the seat directly behind you, ask your passenger politely to sit at the outset of the seat to balance the car. And, if you find them suspicious, keep visual eye contact through the mirror and study their body language.
12. Never tell the customers you had a good shift
You should never tell an inquiring customer that you have had a good day because if you answer them, you are conveying to the potential robber that you have a lot of cash. If they insist on asking such question, change the topic without being rude or be tactful.
13. Carry a spare key
It is a very good idea to have a spare key of your taxis. Just in case if you get robbed, the first thing robbers do is rip out your radio mike so you cannot call for help, and may throw your keys. At this time, you will have the keys to start your taxi. Even if they dump your cab in a short distance away, you can still have it after they leave in order to get help.
14. Never drive into alleys or back lanes
Driving a passenger into a dark alley will give him/her the advantage to rob you when nobody is looking. So, it is advisable not to drive into alleys or back lanes at all. If the passenger insists, you can tell your passenger that company policy states “no back lanes or alleys”.
15. Know your location at all times
You should know the location as you are driving. This is very important so that if you are in trouble, you will be able to tell someone where you are.
16. Check all emergency equipments before you start your shift
Before you begin your shift, you should check all the emergency equipments of your taxis. Make sure to check to if there are any damages like tyre pressure, brakes, and many more.
17. Never take more than 4 passengers
This is a major safety factor for you. In general, you should not carry more passengers than the number of available seat belts. If you do so, you increase the chance of risk getting pulled over and receiving a ticket.
18. Do not be argumentative and always be calm
You should always be polite to your passengers. Being a hothead will bring in more trouble so always keep always be calm at all times and do not argue with the passengers.
19. Do not resist a robbery
It is best not to offer resistance to a robbery. If you are being robbed, give the robber what he/she wants. By doing so, you will be able to live at least another day.
20. Communicate with your dispatchers after the robbery
In case if you are robbed, call your dispatchers immediately and give him your exact locations so that they can track you. At this time, it is really important to give your location in a very clear matter because if they don’t understand you, they will not be able to help you.
These rules are very important and come handy in emergency situations. So, being a taxi driver, you must always keep these basic rules in your mind.