Every job comes with its safety hazards and driving for Uber is no exception. But unlike other jobs, you can’t protect yourself from hazards by putting on extra protective equipment. Knowing how to protect yourself as an Uber driver boils down to your skill as a driver and your ability to stay alert and aware of your surroundings.
On the Road
Given how many automobile accidents happen each year, roadside hazards are some of the biggest safety concerns for roadside drivers. Navigating them is easier the more you drive, but keep these tips in mind.
Practice Defensive Driving
Defensive driving goes beyond simply knowing how to operate a vehicle. It emphasizes saving time, money, and lives with good habits, such as:
- Paying attention to your surroundings
- Identifying potential safety hazards like a car pulling out in front of you
- Leaving following distance between you and the car in front
- Limiting distractions
- Maintaining your car
The main goal of defensive driving is to be proactive instead of reactive. Following these skills will keep both you, your passengers, and your NYC TLC rental car safe.
Know Your Area
Since you’ll likely use GPS, you won’t get lost while driving for Uber. But the more familiar you are with your area, the more familiar you are with traffic patterns and places where it’s safe to stop your car to let passengers out. This will help you avoid getting into collisions.
Most Uber passengers are perfectly safe, amicable individuals. However, having a plan in mind in case you run into the rare exception can help you protect yourself as an Uber driver.
Keep Passengers in the Back
Unlike taxis, Uber drivers use their own cars. As a driver, you can allow passengers to ride in the front seat with you. However, keeping the passenger in the back seat puts more distance between you two, with the seats as an added barrier. In the unlikely event that the situation becomes violent, this will give you an extra layer of protection.
Have a Dashboard Cam
One of the most challenging parts of poor passenger interactions in an Uber is the fact there are usually few, if any, witnesses. By installing a dashboard cam, you eliminate the chatter of hearsay after a bad situation plays out. Having a dashboard cam may also deter belligerent passengers from acting out.
Report Bad Behavior
Uber’s goal is to make the experience of driving safe for everyone involved, and that includes you as the driver. If a passenger behaves in a way that makes you feel unsafe, cancel the ride and instruct the passenger to leave your car. Then, report the situation to Uber. This will ensure that what happened to you doesn’t happen to anyone else.