Safety First, Tips for Rideshare Drivers

Saturday evening in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard.  I am stopped at a light when I see three ladies run across three lanes of traffic and jump into a car driven by a Rideshare driver who was sitting in the center divider of the road.  My mouth just dropped open as I could not believe what I was seeing.

Another day. I was sitting in my car waiting for my daughter to get off work. I saw not one, but two Rideshare drivers pull up and drop off passengers.  Neither of them pulled to the curb even though there was plenty of space to do so.  One of them even sat there blocking traffic while they finished closing out the ride and doing something else on their phone.

My last story is about my second ride as a passenger. I had taken a Lyft from a doctor appointment with my daughter with me.  She sends me a text that the driver is holding his phone in his lap and was texting while the car was in motion.  Because I was sitting directly behind him, I could not see what was going on.vAdditionally, he was driving erratically and far too fast.

These are three examples where passenger safety was not at the forefront of the drivers. As drivers, one of our key roles is to ensure that every ride is a safe one from the moment we arrive at the pick up location until the rider is 100% clear of the vehicle. To help drivers ensure they are doing their best for each passenger, here are some tips to ensure safety and offer a greater chance for a good rating and potential tips.

  1. Never let a passenger enter or exit your car in the middle of the street.  Always pull up to the curd on their side of the street. If there are cars parked at the curd, pull as close as possible to avoid blocking traffic.  If a passenger attempts to get out before you are near the curb, let them know that for their safety, you need to properly pull up to where the passenger is.  If you are on a six lane street and the passenger is across the street, find a safe place to make a U-turn and go back to pick up.
  2. Mount your phone. It is safer to mount your phone so that you are not looking down while you are driving. When your phone is in your lap, your head bows down creating a distraction that can cause an accident.  Mounting your phone is kept it in your line if sight of the road. Keep in mind that many passengers are watching you and are aware of how safe they are in your vehicle and will rate you accordingly. Remember that you should be driving hands-free which means your phone is not in your hands while driving.  This Bose not apply only to talking on your phone.
  3. Don’t text while you have a passenger in the car. Passengers are paying attention to what you are doing. Unless it is a 911 message, it can wait for a response after your passenger leaves your car.  Your attention should be on your passenger and the road only.  Most smart phones allow you to see a brief of the incoming mssage, get a quick glance to see if it is urgent, if not, return the message after closing out the ride.
  4. Adjust your driving. One of the first thing my daughters said to me when I decided to drive for Lyft and Uber was that I cannot drive my passengers the same as when they are in the car.  I have adjusted my speed so that I am driving within the speed limit and no longer scream at bad drivers, at least not when I have a passenger. A cool head and following the law when transporting a passenger is important to ensuring they feel safe with you.

The greatest success in this industry is providing safe and pleasant rides.  By adhering to the rules set by your Rideshare company and local traffic laws, you will are the glue that holds it all together.

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