When you go to a new city, it can be hard to figure out how to get around. Whether you’re trying to catch a train or find the hotel shuttle, getting from one place to another can be a challenge. Using a taxi is a fast and easy way to travel, but are taxis safe? Are they safer than services like ride-hailing services?
Here are some quick taxi safety tips to ensure you stay safe when taking a taxi in a new city so that you can feel comfortable in the back seat.
Read about the tips for passengers that you can follow:
If you think about how to be safe in a taxi alone, then make sure that you are arranging it professionally. Taxis are still the best way to get around in some places, better than ride-shares or public transportation.
If you’re in such a location, try to arrange a taxi through trusted local companies. People who live there know which taxi services are reliable, and you can also use in-airport taxi services for an easy ride.
Hotels can help, too. At many hotels, the front desk can call a taxi from a reliable company they work with. Some fancy hotels even offer their own car service, which you can include in your hotel bill.
When you get into a taxi, the easiest way to ensure you’re not paying too much is to ask the driver to use the metre. This depends on where you are.
In some places, there are rules that set a fixed price for certain rides, like from the airport to the city centre. But in other places, like Paris, it’s up to the driver to decide the fare. Before the taxi starts moving, ask the driver to turn on the metre so you know how much you’ll be charged.
Here’s a tip: Make sure your phone is working before leaving the airport so you can use Google Maps to find your way to your destination.
If the taxi metre isn’t working, or you can’t use it, your next step is to agree on a price with the driver. In some cities, the cost is regulated, especially when you leave from the airport. But if it’s not regulated, talk to the driver about your destination and the fare they’re planning to charge.
Before you travel, it’s smart to check the average taxi costs to know what to expect. If the price seems too high, try negotiating a fair price with the driver before the ride starts.
Whether you’re paying a fixed rate or using the metre, it’s best to use a credit card for payment. Credit cards have protections that keep you safe from fraud. Some travel credit cards also give you bonus points for travel expenses.
If you have to pay with cash, make sure to use a card that won’t charge you extra fees for ATM withdrawals or international transactions.
If there’s a question going in your mind, ‘how do I make sure my taxi is safe?’, then always use official taxis.
In some places, people act as impromptu taxi drivers. You can stop any passing car, tell them where you’re going, and pay them a bit when you reach your destination. While it can be a quick way to get around, it’s not the safest.
Official taxi drivers, who follow strict rules and work for organised companies, are usually safer. They meet certain standards, and sticking with them is better, especially when flagging down a taxi on the street.
You’ll find more official taxi drivers in big cities and sometimes even in smaller and mid-sized places. Speaking of official taxis, you can get the best taxi services in London from Brum Taxis.
In some cities, there are taxi services just for women. A survey found that almost half of female riders prefer female drivers. Some companies have listened to this and now offer specific taxi options for solo female travellers.
Before you travel, check if there are any special taxis like these, especially if you’re worried about safety.
Tips For Drivers:
We don’t only care about the passengers but for the drivers too. Read about the tips that drivers can also follow during their rides:
Technology can be your best friend. It’s easy and inexpensive to install. Dashcams and interior cameras can film anything untoward that occurs in the taxi or on the road.
A reliable radio relay system enables you to call for help without relying on a phone. Additionally, a good GPS service will ensure that you reach your destination without getting lost.
It’s important to note that just because someone has requested your taxi, it does not obligate you to let them into your vehicle. If anyone appears noticeably intoxicated or behaves erratically or aggressively, you should decline their business.
By having a brief conversation with them, you can evaluate their behaviour and make an informed decision about whether you want to accept their request.
It’s not a good idea to expose large amounts of cash in front of your passengers, as it can attract opportunistic behaviour from some people. It’s advisable to keep your cash in a secure and hidden place and deposit it at the depot as frequently as possible.
Moreover, it’s recommended to switch to a cashless payment system, where customers can pay using credit/debit cards or online payment services.
One of the most important safety tips for taxi drivers is to ensure that they have a clear view of their passengers at all times. It is recommended to be extra cautious if someone gets in and chooses to sit directly behind the driver. The majority of driver assaults occur when the attacker sits directly behind.
To avoid such situations, it’s advised to ask the passenger to sit across from you, where they are visible to you. You can mention that it’s company policy, and most passengers won’t mind complying. However, if a passenger refuses to comply, it’s better to refuse their business and ask them to leave the vehicle.
Your vehicle’s reliability is crucial for your business. To ensure this, maintain and service it regularly to keep it roadworthy.
Storms, snow, and strong winds can make driving extremely hazardous. Stay home if the weather looks unsafe.
It’s important to avoid certain areas in every town or city, especially if they have a high crime rate or are known to be unsafe. If you need to pick up or drop off passengers, choose a location on the main road. Avoid driving through backstreets or alleyways, as they are often the sites of trouble.
We all have days when we would rather have stayed in bed, but it is important to remember that this should not affect how we behave towards our customers. You never know how someone will react if you are rude or grumpy towards them.
Always maintain professional and courteous behaviour and provide good customer service, even if the customer is being difficult or irritating. This might save you from potential harm.
This is a reminder that all passengers, including yourself, must always wear their seatbelts.
At some point, you may encounter an accident that you could have caused or not caused. It’s crucial to keep in mind that liability claims can be costly, which is why it’s essential to have liability coverage to safeguard yourself. Out of all the safety tips for taxi drivers, this one would be the most effective in saving you time, money, and trouble in the long term.
Both passengers and taxi drivers can enhance their travel experiences with thoughtful practices. Passengers should prioritise safety by opting for professional taxis, negotiating prices when necessary, and considering women-centric options for added security.
For drivers, investing in technology, assessing customers for safety, and maintaining a well-kept vehicle is crucial. Additionally, situational awareness, adherence to safety protocols, and professional conduct contribute to a positive and secure environment.
By following these tips, passengers and drivers contribute to a safer, more enjoyable taxi experience for everyone involved. Safe travels can be achieved through mutual respect, diligence, and a commitment to best practices.