Insights

When Taxi & Uber are more valuable – A Guide to Taxi Safety when Travelling

When you need to get around in a city, choosing a taxi can often be much safer and more convenient than walking or driving yourself.

Especially in cases when you are a newcomer to a city, or travelling solo, using a taxi instead of a public transportation can be a great time saver.

Wasting a day of your travel on wandering around by foot, just because it was cheaper than taking a cab, eventually turns out to be more expensive since you lost valuable time.

Needless to say, it is almost always the best option to call a cab if you are drinking alcohol, alone in a place you do not know, or concerned about city parking.

That being said, although taking a taxi is safer than some other modes of transport, it still has a few risks. To stay safe while travelling around it is important to keep these risks in mind.

 

Ensure That the Taxi You Call Is Legit

When you are trying to hail a cab in an unfamiliar city, you may be approached by an unofficial vehicle. If a car is not legally registered as a taxi you should never get into it. By all means it may just be an innocent person who is trying to earn extra income, however, it could be something much worse, a risk you do not want to take. It’s a much better option to wait for a taxi which you know is legit.

 

Before you get into a car, make sure that it has the following:

– A well-known taxi company displayed on the vehicle

– A taxi license which is clearly visible

– A meter

– A ‘taxi’ roof sign

For some people, the services provided by Uber and Lyft are enjoyable – while these drivers are not official taxi drivers, they have undergone thorough background checks and their actions are constantly monitored while they are working.

 

Take the Back Seat

Some people say that they think it is rude to take the back seat of a taxi when travelling alone – like they are trying to indicate that the taxi driver is their servant. Let’s get one thing straight; the taxi driver is not your friend. You are making a payment for a person to drive you from A to B. You are taking them up on their professional service, whether they like you or not is not important.

As well as being common practice for a passenger to sit in the back seat, it is also a safer option. When you are spending time alone with a person you do not know, it is always best to be extra careful and avoid unnecessary close physical proximity. In fact, many drivers view the front as their own personal space and would rather that their passengers sit in the back.

As soon as you enter a cab you should note down the taxi company, the name of the driver and the driver’s ID number. Usually, all of this information is displayed in the back seat.  It may be more convenient to take a photo on your phone. If you encounter any problems on your journey, you will already have all the information you need. You could even text the information to a friend while will provide evidence of where you were at and at what time.

Listen To your Gut Instinct

Your parents always told you that you should listen to your gut instinct if a situation doesn’t feel right. Often, it is our gut instinct that responds before our brain does, that means we may experience fear before we know why. If this is the case, ignore your logic and listen to your gut instinct.

If you feel like the driver is not safe, take the first chance you get to leave the car according to Go Green Taxi’s in Newbury. Do your best not to get out in a quiet or isolated area, however, you can certainly tell the driver that you do not want to go to the initial destination and simply pay for the location you get out at. However, if you feel in immediate danger just get out and ring the police straight away. You can make a call to the cab company later and tell them what happened.

Don’t Be Overly Familiar

Chatting politely to the driver is fine, however, don’t make things overly familiar. Even if you are a naturally friendly person, you do not want to give the driver any type of idea that you are personally interested in them. Discuss the weather, a local sports team, a recent movie, but do not share anything personal, certainly not your contact information.

Once you see your destination in sight, get ready to immediately exit the vehicle. Have your payment at the ready, take your keys out and have all your belongings at hand. Your plan should be to make the time you are outside alone as short as possible. If the driver is trustworthy, ask them to wait until you are safely indoors.

 

Usually, taking a taxi is a very safe option. However, when having dealings with people you do not know, you should always be cautious. You can go a long way in minimising your risks when taking a taxi if you incorporate these simple tips into your routine every time you hail a cab.

December 5, 2017