St. Patty’s Day (and weekend) is always busy, but if you’re not careful you could end up with a whole lot of green puke in your car. RSG contributor Scott Van Maldegian gives us some advice on how to handle St. Patrick’s Day as an Uber driver, and how to avoid pukers on one of the most profitable rideshare days of the year. Enjoy and be careful out there!
DISCLAIMER: I apologize if I gross anyone out who reads this article. Be thankful I didn’t include pictures though.
Woohoo!! Uber drivers, St. Patty’s day is almost here, which means there is going to be parties, revelers – and lots of people potentially getting in your car. With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a weekend this year, the parties on Friday, Saturday and even into Sunday are sure to be busy (as long as the weather isn’t too terrible). Here’s a guide on handling St. Patrick’s Day, plus everything surrounding the holiday.
Other Than St. Paddy’s Day, Why Else Will This Be a Big Weekend?
There are a few other reasons why this will be a big overall weekend:
This weekend is the start of many college spring breaks. Old friends will be flocking to bars and restaurants to meet up with friends they haven’t seen since Christmas break and young’ns will be out partying.
In the Chicago area, I have found “breaks” from college send a great deal of demand outside the city to the suburbs as kids are home. Keep this in mind when deciding where to drive.
Well, maybe not warm but warmer temps through a good portion of the country. Every March when the temps get warmer, people want to get out of the house to fight lingering cabin fever.
First Full Weekend After Daylight Savings Time
Also helping to fight cabin fever is the increase in daylight. People will want to get out of the house with the increase in daylight.
But What About the St. Patrick’s Day Pukers?
What goes along with Spring Break (not to mention the other 2 factors mentioned above)? Drunkeness!! There is a lot of money to be made… that is if you don’t get sidelined by a drunk passenger (i.e. puker). Needing to get your car detailed due to an “incident” can cost you much more than you might make on the cleaning fees. For more tips on how to handle getting paid for incidents like puke, spilled food, and more, visit our article on getting your clean up fees reimbursed here.
In order minimize the possible downtime, there are a number of things you can do. These fall into 2 categories: avoidance and protection.
Pay Attention to Your Riders Before They Get In Your Car
The best way to avoid pukers is to not let them get in your car in the first place. Avoid people who can barely walk and, most of all, don’t let people put a super drunk person in your car with the intent of having you drive them home. Not only is this a sure fire way to have this person puke all over your car, but also a very large liability if this person has drank so much that they may even need a ride to the ER.
Avoid Riders Who Can’t Set Their Pin Point
Rideshare companies have a built in sobriety test for riders. If a rider cannot set their pin point reasonably close to where they are located, there is a very good chance that they are very drunk. In my experience, nothing good ever comes from traveling a considerable distance from their original pick up point in order to pick up a rider. It is a recipe for a bad rating as well as a higher probability of getting a puker.
Related Article: 5 PITA situations every driver encounters
There are a few good options out there for permanent seat covers, but on a day like St. Patty’s Day, using some sort of tarp to cover the seats isn’t a horrible idea, especially if you have cloth seats. I am sure some passengers will frown upon it but most will respect it as planning ahead. Just make sure the tarp is clean and reasonably secured. If you have cloth seats and are without seat covers, pay extra special attention to your riders so you can focus on the “avoidance” side of things.
This is my favorite way to keep my car clean and puke proof. I have Weathertech Floor Liners and they have saved my butt more than once. It will be much easier to get a drunk person to puke onto a floor liner than anywhere else. And cleaning out a floor liner is easy at a local self serve car wash. Just be careful not to spill removing the floor liner from the car. For those in the Chicago area, you can visit the store in Bolingbrook to get your liners the same day.
These are a must, especially for the person that isn’t that drunk but drank something that just didn’t agree with them. The two gallon Ziploc bags are the best since they have a big opening and plenty of volume.
Put one in each of your seat pockets for easy access and make sure a little bit of the bag is showing so riders know they are there. You can also buy emesis bags on Amazon if you’re looking for something a little more official.
Related Article: Keeping Your Car Clean and Puke-Proofing Your Vehicle
A Few More Suggestions
Lock Your Window Controls
I have seen more than my share of people attempting to puke out of a car window. This is a bad idea in so many ways. If the car is moving, it will blow back into the car and create an enormous mess. If the car isn’t moving, not all will end up outside the car and some will leak into the door. Once inside the door, it will be very hard if not impossible to remove the smell from your car.
Moral of the story: Keep your window controls locked. Do not let your passengers control your windows. If someone needs a bit of air, lower the window a bit but not enough where they will even think of trying to puke out the window.
If you do have the unfortunate instance of having someone make a mess in your car, make sure you take pictures. This goes for any kind of mess. Drunk people are known to lose control of other bodily functions as well. Taking pictures and sending them to the TNC and identifying the passenger will assure you of recovering the cost of cleaning up the mess. Make sure to keep receipts as well.
Also make sure that if you do get a puker and you want to be reimbursed for the cleaning fee, you don’t continue driving that night. Uber will not reimburse you in this situation, but if you are able to get it reasonably cleaned up, you could switch over to Lyft for the rest of the night and still get a cleaning fee from Uber that way.
Bringing along a supply of rags, paper towels and the cleaning spray of your choice is a very good idea. You will want to clean it up as soon as possible in order to minimize the damage.
Related Article: Essential items every rideshare driver should have in their car
I wish all Uber drivers good luck this St Patrick’s day weekend and may all your riders be without vomit. Drivers, will you be out this weekend or is the risk not worth the reward?
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-Scott @ RSG
Scott Van Maldegiam
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