Should You Wear Expensive Items While Driving? Prioritizing Safety as a Driver

Do you feel safe while rideshare driving?

What precautions do you take to ensure that nothing bad happens to you?

In addition to making sure you don’t do anything that makes you feel unsafe, you very likely avoid wearing anything too expensive or flashy to draw attention to you.

Should you only wear cheap things to make people believe you have nothing worth stealing? How can you make sure that you are safe while rideshare driving?

One driver decided he would wear a high-end Rolex watch while driving.

Let’s see what this driver’s story can teach us.

Quick Summary: 

  • One driver’s experience shows that expensive jewelry and watches don’t catch the eye of the average passenger.
  • Protect yourself by not carrying cash or other easily stolen valuables.
  • Try your own studies to see what can bring in more tips to maximize your earnings.

The Story

This driver, known as Ant 7 on, spent several months, and over 1,000 rides wearing various watches.

In addition to wearing the high-end watches, he also had a “control watch” to see how many people would mention it.

The Rolex this driver wore to see if anyone would notice

After driving over 1,000 passengers, only 9 mentioned his high-end watches. Of those 9, 5 of them also wore high-end watches. Showing that people who are not “watch people” don’t notice watches.

In fact, he got more comments, almost twice as many about his control watch because of the strap.

His findings are that people will notice that you are wearing a watch, but the vast majority are not going to notice a high-end watch when it’s right in front of them.

An important thing to note about this experiment is that the driver himself states that he would never have done this if he didn’t feel safe. He lives in Canada, a place where he felt safe driving around with a watch that’s worth more than some of the cars other drivers are in.

Should You Wear Expensive Things While Rideshare Driving?

The very first thought I had when I read this post was I would never wear something so expensive in a situation that could end up not being safe.

I’ve had situations where I felt really unsafe picking people up, dropping off food, you name it. The idea of wearing a $15,000 watch at the same time is insane to me.

However, some people have never felt unsafe while driving.

Maybe they go out of their way to ensure that when and where they drive makes them feel safe, even if that means they make less money or drive longer to make the same amount of money.

If that’s the case, and you want to wear something expensive, go for it.

That being said, your safety should be your number one priority. If wearing something, even if it’s expensive, doesn’t make you less safe, why not wear it?

There are many things that we already have that are expensive anyway. Your phone, a smartwatch, a tablet, or even the car you drive are all things that are valuable and that someone could steal if given the right opportunity. Is wearing an expensive watch, or piece of jewelry that much more of a risk?

Watch the Show Me the Money Club contributors chat about why prioritizing your safety as a gig worker is important: Why Safety For Gig Workers Is Important

How To Protect Yourself

How can you protect yourself while rideshare driving?

First, don’t take anything valuable, and don’t carry cash.

When I first started driving for Lyft and had to have a meetup with a long-time driver before I could start driving, he told me he never takes more than $20 cash with him, which is in a dummy wallet he carries while he’s driving. That wallet has $20 and basically nothing else, that way in case he did get robbed he could hand them the wallet, lose the $20, and not have to worry about losing all his cards and ID.

I never went so far as to get a dummy wallet, but I do make sure that I’m not carrying cash around with me. Even when I get a cash tip, I put that in the console in my car rather than in my pocket and take it in the house at the end of the day. That way I don’t risk it falling out of my pocket or anything else.

Next, be alert.

Let’s be honest, none of us are 100% safe all the time. As much as we would like to think so, we aren’t. Bad things can happen when you’re least expecting it.

What can you do?

  • Pay attention to possible dangers and avoid them
  • If a street or situation doesn’t feel right, leave and refuse that ride—trust your gut
  • If you just aren’t feeling like driving that day or night, take the day off

What’s Your Study?

Though this “study” was interesting to me, it did make me think of the valuable opportunity we have as drivers.

We can test things like this out in our area.

Maybe it’s testing 100 rides where candy is available for your passengers and see if you get more tips because of it? Or what types of candy seem to get more? Hint: Reeses for me.

One driver would bring his wife’s baked goods and have people vote on which was best, allowing her to hone her skills and start a bakery.

Whatever it is, you can always use rideshare driving for more than just making money, just be safe about it.

Have you ever done a similar ‘test’ in your car, either accidentally or on purpose? What do you think of this driver’s decision to wear an expensive watch while driving?

-Tyler @ RSG