When I tell people I’m a rideshare driver, one of the first things they always ask me is, “So how much money do you make?” Most non-rideshare people have heard stories of drivers quitting their day jobs to drive full time, making $50 an hour and all of the other wild stories you hear. As drivers, we know that hourly rates are nowhere near that anymore and in my personal experience, I’ve found that I can make anywhere from $20-$40 an hour after expenses but generally closer to $20.
Now the only caveat to my hourly rate is that since I drive part time I can effectively cherry pick the best hours to work. I primarily drive weekends, holidays and busy nights/times. Now the only problem I’ve found with driving during those times is that you tend to encounter a lot of drunk and sometimes even wasted passengers.
I haven’t had anyone throw up in my car yet but I do know that it happens more than you might think. Drivers get a $200 cleaning fee when someone throws up in your car but the memories will last a lifetime. Not to mention the fact that you can no longer work that night and you need to get your car detailed ASAP. Throw up has a way of seeping into all the nooks and crannies of your seats and if you don’t clean it up quickly, the smell will never go away.
Avoid a Vomitter
The best way to avoid a vomitter is to never let them in your car in the first place. If you drive during the day, you won’t ever have to deal with the drinking crowd since most rides during the day are for people running errands and going to/from work. I’ve found driving during the day to be too slow though. I would rather get a ton of requests or always be driving to someone to pick them up than sit around for 15-30 minutes at a time.
If you do want to drive nights and avoid vomitters, then your best bet is to drive right up until around midnight. It’s pretty hard to get throw up drunk before midnight on a Friday or Saturday in my opinion. It’s definitely possible (and I think I did it once on my 21st birthday), but you’d have to be really movin’ in order to achieve this. Most of the rides in my area up until midnight are people coming home from dinner or people going out to the bars. Since the bars close in California at 2 am (closer to 1:20 am though) you won’t find many people going home from the bars until after midnight.
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Another good way to avoid a vomitter or someone overly drunk is how they drop their pin. If you’ve taken a ride as a passenger, you know that it’s pretty easy to accidentally move your location pin when requesting a ride. And when you’re drunk it’s even easier. A good sign of a drunk passenger (and also someone to avoid) is someone who places their pin in the wrong location. So if you get to the passenger’s location or confirm their location with them and it’s completely different than where their pin is it might be a good idea to just cancel the ride. (I also have a hunch that some riders do this to avoid surge pricing so watch out!)
Prepare for a Vomitter
At the end of the day, I think the odds of someone throwing up in your car are very low. You do get compensated by Lyft or Uber but I would rather not have the money if it means no one has to throw up in my car. I think it’s pretty easy to spot a vomitter ahead of time but once they’re in the car it’s almost too late. Upon arrival, you can decline to give them a ride but now you’ve wasted your time driving to them and you have to wait for another request. It also puts a bad name out there for Uber and Lyft because the whole point of these services is to transport drunk people.
I like transporting drunk people because they’re always a lot of fun, but I try to stay away from people who are wasted. As long as they’re not stumbling their way into my car, I don’t mind giving them a ride. I always offer water to passengers who seem pretty drunk and I just bought some barf bags on Amazon just in case.
I’ve only driven past midnight a handful of times but so far my experiences have been great. I made good money and met a lot of interesting people. I’m hoping that the techniques I use to avoid and prepare for vomitters will ensure that no one ever throws up in my car.
Drivers, have you had anyone throw up in your car? Are there any precuationary steps you take to avoid vomitters or do you just try to completely avoid them?
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-The Rideshare Guy