How to stay safe as an Uber driver
While there are many articles about how to keep safe as an Uber passenger, you rarely see any relating to the driver. Yet, your safety is just as important as your customers—you’re not exempt from the potential risks associated with driving or the job in general. Uber reported in its 2017/18 safety report that there were 97 fatal crashes resulting in 107 deaths. Although road accidents happen daily, there are things you can do to protect yourself in the event of such a situation. And it’s not just traffic you need to be aware of, it’s your customers too. To help to ensure your safety, we’ve listed a few things to consider before and during your shift.
Be wary of your passengers
As a driver, you have no idea what type of person is getting into your car, especially when working the later shifts. The likelihood of picking up drunk passengers is quite high, more so if you’re working in a busy city or town on a weekend. While some people who’ve had a drink can be chatty and fun, others may be rude, aggressive, or violent.
You should have a plan in place to deal with these situations, such as calling the police if need be. It may seem extreme, but data from Uber’s safety report suggests instances of sexual assault have been reported in about 1 of every 800,000 trips, just under half of which were committed by the passenger. If any incident involving a passenger makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe, you should stop your car and ask the passenger(s) to get out. Endangering your own life is never worth the money, so trust your instincts if you feel something is off.
Make sure you’re insured
Being insured is vital for any driver, but having insurance for your Uber car will cover you should you experience any accidents while driving, or if a passenger damages your vehicle. Some drivers prefer to hire a car to work in as many of these cars include an insurance policy in the price. London PCO care hire firm Hirebrid explain on their website that PCO car hire services are very popular as insurance is covered, along with servicing, maintenance and repairs, meaning drivers don’t face any unexpected expenses and can accurately predict earnings from one month to the next. Once you have insurance, you can drive safely knowing you’re completely protected—and it can also reassure your passengers.
Pay attention to customer ratings
Not only can passengers rate you, but you can rate them too—this can be useful in deciding whether it’s safe to pick someone up. If a passenger has a low rating you can decide to decline their trip. There’s absolutely no reason for you to feel unsafe while working, which is why you have the option to choose who you want to offer a lift too. Always remember to rate your passengers and be honest about it, as this can inform future drivers of any potentially risky individuals getting in their car.
Consider where and when you’re working
One of the benefits of being an Uber driver is the flexibility to choose your own working hours. This can work in your favour if you don’t want to work in any specific locations, such as secluded or rundown areas. If you ever feel unsafe somewhere, you can choose to not work there again. Or, if you want to avoid drunk passengers, you can opt for working hours during the day instead of late nights and weekdays instead of weekends. However, it’s important to consider that completing weekend shifts can increase your pay rate, as surge pricing is introduced during busier periods.
Alongside deciding when and where to work, Uber has created safety precautions intending to protect both their drivers and customers, including a Follow My Ride feature allowing users to share trips in real-time with their loved ones.
Use video technology
If you’re concerned about your safety and want to keep a record of all your trips, install a dashcam inside your vehicle. By recording any incidents that occur during your trips, you’ll be covered further down the line if any incident warrants legal action. A visible dashcam in your car may also prevent incidents from happening in the first place—if passengers realise they’re being filmed they’re more likely to behave themselves. However, remember you must disclose you have a dashcam to your passengers as recording without consent is considered a serious breach of privacy.