How Drivers Can Handle the Things We Hate Most

I was scrolling through my Google News stream and found an Insider article about the five worst things a passenger can do, irritating and angering drivers.

I know what I hate the most about rideshare driving and specifically passengers.  But what does the article have to say about it?

Today, I will tackle each item and share my strategy to empower you, the rideshare driver, to hate on passengers a little less.


Do you hate anything about being a driver? Oxford Languages states the definition of hate as:

intense or passionate dislike. feelings of hate and revenge.


That’s pretty strong, I hope I never have feelings of revenge while I am driving.

If I am honest with myself, I only feel hate during my driving if I am tired.  When I am exhausted, maybe pushing myself too far, driving a little bit, or a lot more than I should, this is when I can hate certain aspects of my job.

No doubt, there are some drivers who hate driving more than me.

Dealing with Things We Hate Most as Rideshare Drivers

Let’s see, according to this article, what drivers hate the most and my take on them:

1. Rude Passengers

I honestly don’t get many passengers who are rude.  If you do get rude passengers, you must realize they are not being rude because of you.

I guarantee that something else is happening in their life, and they are taking it out on you.

You can smile, ask how their day is going, pay them a compliment about what they are wearing, basically, handle any rude passenger by killing them with kindness.  It works every time.

Shut up and drive if you get a “leave me alone” vibe.  Respond to their attitude and body language and take the appropriate action.

2. Requesting Stops at Drive-Thrus or Convenience Stores

Why would any driver hate this?  I love it when the passenger asks me to do something extra for them.

Nine times out of ten, they will tip you extra for just a few minutes of your time.

If the passenger abuses the privilege and takes more than five minutes, end the ride and drive away.  But this rarely happens, the passenger knows you are doing them a solid, and they will reward you in kind.

If they don’t, be happy, you made someone else’s day a little brighter.

The other day I drove twenty minutes out of my way to drop off someone’s cell phone, which he had left in my car.  Again, nine times out of ten, this will result in a minimum $20 tip.  This guy did not tip me, he said, “Thank you,” and walked away, no tip.

So I moved on to plan B and claimed my $15 returned item fee.  The passenger has his phone, and I earned $15 for twenty minutes of work ($45 an hour!).

3. Not Tipping

You have to let this one go.  Some passengers tip and some do not.

Smile, provide a smooth ride, have a conversation if the passenger wants to talk, help with the luggage, keep your car clean and smelling good, and drive. Some will tip, some won’t.

I also adhere to a karmic relationship with tipping. I am a very generous tipper at restaurants and hotels, and somehow, in some odd way, I feel I get commensurately good tips for my driving.

Maybe that isn’t really it, but I like to believe it to be so.

4. Arriving Late

OK, they got me here, sometimes I hate this.  I sit in my car, ready to take the trip.  Especially in the instances where I may need ten more rides for my bonus and want to get it done quickly, my mind goes a bit like this:

“This freaken passenger is taking money out of my pocket every minute I sit here waiting!”

My strategy for late passengers is to send them messages to remind them that I am in front of their house waiting:

  • First Message: “Hi, your ride is here 👍. I am in a Black Honda Accord Hybrid.”
  • Second Message: After 1 minute, I send, “I’ve arrived.”
  • Third Message: After 2 minutes I send, “Do you still need a ride? 🚘”

Usually, this gets them out the door, however, I still get passengers who arrive at 4 minutes and 50 seconds. This often triggers me, especially if I am tired.  I won’t go out of my way to be pleasant or talkative and will often give these late passengers a 2-star rating.

Allow me to vent.  I don’t understand why passengers are late.  I have taken hundreds of Ubers and Lfyts and never made a driver wait, the trick? Don’t order the car until you are ready to go.

Some passengers don’t respect themselves very much, so how can we expect them to respect our time?

It’s just part of the job. I wish Uber and Lyft would charge them $2 per minute while we wait, that would change behavior.  And it would make me happy to wait, at $60 an hour, I would wait as long as needed.

5. No-Go Zones

This happened more to me when I was driving full-time in San Francisco, and I did hate it.

I would have to pick up a passenger, and they would be in a bus zone. Whenever I picked someone up, there was a real chance that a bus would pull up and take my picture.  This would lead to a ticket and subsequent payment of several hundred dollars.

After my first ticket, I refused to enter the bus zone. I would find the nearest legal spot and call the passenger to meet me, it usually worked.

Here in Sacramento, this has never been a problem.

Key Takeaways

The resolution of these top five passenger issues is all a function of your mindset. Drivers need to make some mental adjustments which are a normal part of the job.

One abhorrent passenger behavior this article did not mention is the situation when someone gets your car dirty.

For example, a passenger has been smoking weed, and now your car smells, or you are driving a drunk person, and they puke in your car.  I would hate that!

I had someone let their dog walk in the back seat, and its muddy paws made a real mess, these things happen, it’s part of the job.

You and I must treat these things the way a duck treats water on its back, let it roll right off. Expect these unpleasant things to happen occasionally, and you won’t be upset anymore.

That is how I drive with a smile on my face, most of the time. 😊