Every month, Harry goes live on YouTube to share all the latest rideshare news and answer questions from current or interested drivers like you. In this special edition of the December YouTube Live, we’re sharing your top recommendations for how to stay safe while rideshare driving.
In addition to your top 10 tips, we also cover new app features and other app updates. Feel free to view the original YouTube live below, but here’s a quick summary of the highlights along with tips from drivers like you who shared exactly how they stay safe on the road.
Top 10 Ways Drivers Stay Safe on the Road
Driving can be a somewhat risky job at times. Harry asked drivers to share their best tips for staying safe on the road. These tips and strategies can definitely save you time and money while possibly helping you avoid risky situations and unfair deactivation.
1) Many drivers implement this top tip to stay safe on the road, summarized by driver Saba G.: “One thing I do to stay safe is I don’t pick up riders until they verify their name.”
Just as it’s important for riders to verify who is picking them up, it’s important for you to verify who your riders are. Picking up the wrong person can just lead to a spiral of issues that can easily be avoided by simply confirming the person’s name before you let them into your car.
2) Keeping people distracted/occupied/talking about themselves.
Keeping your riders busy by creating an environment where they can talk about themselves is a great way to feel more comfortable during the ride and possibly score yourself some tips.
Driver Lisa says, “I want to feel comfortable in my own car, that’s another big thing, so unless I have to, I don’t let anyone sit in the front seat. My passenger will usually sit in the back seat on the passenger side. I don’t tell people they can’t sit upfront. I just put my book bag in the passenger seat, they see the bag and automatically go into the back.
If my car is full and I have to have someone sit upfront I will put my bag in between the seats. I will sometimes on weekends have water or hard candy. I believe it kinda keeps the passengers busy with how excited they are that I have those items it keeps the car casual. The radio another distraction. When they get in the car I’ll ask what kind of music do they like? I will talk to passengers about the weather. A lot of times I’ll pick people up who aren’t from here and I’ll talk about how cold or snowy it gets in NY. I will always ask the rider to talk about themselves. I found if they are talking about themselves they don’t have time for anything else.”
3) Hector reminds us about the importance of making sure our cars are running at peak performance to stay safe on the road.
Hector says: “One thing that I do to stay safe is to ensure that all of my fluids, particularly the windshield washing fluid is full, especially in the winter. I have been stuck in winter storms with no visibility and that fluid is what allowed me to see the little that I could. It’s important to always check prior to driving because you never know what lies ahead.”
As a driver, it’s important to keep up with all your maintenance and keep your car’s performance in the best shape possible but it the cost of driving and keeping up with all of this is weighing you down, Harry recommends looking into rideshare car rental and leasing options like HyreCar.
4) Driver Michelle takes matters into her own hands to stay safe as well.
Michelle says: I have taken six separate defense training courses, from empty handed skills to using force multipliers. That being said, I carry a variety of items to help keep me safe. The one item I don’t leave home without is Pom OC spray. I can deploy it in situations that don’t require lethal force. Drivers need to know a car is the one force multiplier all rideshare drivers have. But that doesn’t help in cabin. That’s why I train!
5) Driver Jonathan makes sure everyone in the car is safe before he gets going.
Jonathan says: “The very first thing I do after confirming passenger and destination with them is cheerfully say, “Great, grab a seat belt so we can get driving!”
This confirms safety in the car and on the road, obeying CA law and equally important is it establishes control, mutual respect, a protective environment and alerts me to any personality issues that could come up.”
6) Driver Alex recommends drivers take it easy and drive defensively in order to stay safe on the road.
Alex says: “I keep safe driving by making sure I am alert, and drive defensively. I stay within the speed limit and I don’t rush myself ever while driving!”
While you can only control how well you drive on the road, it’s important to look out for other people and obtain the proper rideshare insurance coverage to protect you during all rideshare periods when using Uber or Lyft.
7) Speaking of the previous tip, driver Rogue recommends keeping an eye out on other drivers out there, who can make driving on the road more dangerous.
Rogue says: “I always keep myself aware of where cars are at around me and leave a large space in front of me in case I need to make a high-speed evasive maneuver such as to avoid a stupid Uber driver. This has happened more times than I can count!”
8) In case anything does happen, driver Tonya makes sure to pay attention to the surroundings.
Tonya says: “I always look to see what the person is wearing, what they’re carrying and who they’re standing or sitting next to outside.”
9) Driver Jas uses tech safety features in order to stay safe while driving.
Jas says: “I link my account with my wife so she can track my rides. I drive slowly and use turn signals. I keep my tires fresh and try not to brake hard.”
10) Driver Don sticks to the basics (tried and true!) to stay safe on the road:
Don says: “Always carry a flashlight.”
Also, don’t forget to keep your dash cam up and running throughout your driving shift!
Uber’s Safety Report
As you may have already heard, Uber released a safety report which we also covered on YouTube last week. In this safety report, there were unfortunately around 3,000 allegations of sexual assault claims in 2018. While this is a small percentage compared to the high number of Uber rides that occur each day, sexual assault is a serious topic no matter what and an important issue to help eliminate on all Uber trips. Plus, the fact that experts say sexual assault tends to be underreported should be considered, since these numbers could in fact be higher.
Almost half of the allegations made were from female drivers. A big takeaway from this safety report for Harry has been the importance of installing a dash cam, which can come in handy in these situations as well as in the event of an accident.
While you can’t control what other drivers do, if you get into an accident and don’t have dash cam footage, you may not be able to prove everything that happened and who was at fault.
Secondarily, the best benefits of dash cams are that blinking light and passengers always see it, they may not mention it but they are more inclined to behave knowing that they are going to be on camera. In short, if you’re an active driver, please get a dash cam and protect yourself! Harry recommends the Vanture N2 Pro, but there are quite a few options to choose from.
Have You Signed Uber’s New Terms and Agreement?
One question that came up during this month’s YouTube live is whether drivers can get deactivated if they state they comply with Uber’s new terms?
Uber’s new terms of service came out around November 15th. It basically states that you have to have to agree to stay on the platform. The one key thing to note is that you have to sign it if you want to continue driving. You probably won’t get deactivated if you don’t sign, but you just won’t be able to drive.
One thing you can do is opt out of the arbitration agreement, which says that if you want to sue Uber, you have to do it through arbitration. Some people feel that it’s much better to opt out, that way you can be part of class actions and be able to hold Uber more accountable. Harry isn’t convinced that opting out of arbitration really makes that much sense since drivers really haven’t been paid that much from these class actions.
New Uber Driver Features
The biggest news of the past month was this new set of features that Uber released basically giving drivers what they wanted in regards to the pickup screen. These features are initially being rolled out in California and Uber is giving access to around 30% of CA drivers to start. More drivers will get access probably over the next few months.
The features will tell drivers things like how much the fare is going to be, where the pickup point is and where the drop off will be. If you’re in another state, Uber has indicated that they may roll this out in other states soon, but it’s just in CA right now. This new change will give drivers a lot more information and if you’re a strategic driver, you can use this information to earn more.
Drive Jonathan says: “I now see Destination/ Estimated Fare/ map of the ride but it moves FAST. You have to be able to make quick decisions. The info varies by driver and possibly the type of Pro.”
Make sure to follow RSG on YouTube for the next live Q and A so you can stay on top of all the rideshare industry news updates, tips and strategies.
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-Chonce @ RSG