It’s holiday time again, and as always we want you to be safe.
Today, we’re highlighting driving safety facts and tips for how to be prepared and steer clear of the chaos while driving for Uber.
Scary fact: According to the US Department of Transportation, an average of 300 people die in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year. In addition, “alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities.” Sadly, in 2019 we can expect about 800 drunk-driving related crashes in December alone.
AIS Insurance found crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver rise 22% December 24 through 26.
It gets even more alarming for those of us driving in dangerous winter conditions this holiday season. The US Department of Transportation cautions us, “Over 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement annually.”
On the other hand, it’s the ideal time to be a rideshare driver because, let’s face it, driving during the season is a lucrative way to make more money driving for Uber. It’s prime time for visitors and families to go out, celebrate and not have to think about driving. People are out shopping, dining, heading to parties, events, bars, nightclubs, etc. It’s a great time for giving and being generous so no matter how stressful, stay happy and positive.
Another scary fact: Beware especially of “Drunksgiving”, which is what the day before Thanksgiving has been labeled because of all the danger on the road. The night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest nights for bars and clubs.
Be prepared and think ahead this holiday season. Here are 5 Uber driver safety tips that can very well save your life this holiday season.
1 – Be on high alert
Yes, there may be drunk drivers on the road near you. Be sure to look around for impaired drivers. This is not a time to zone out or check texts.
Steer away from aggressive drivers coming in and out of lanes or passive drivers who are asleep at the wheel.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted drivers kill 3,000 people per year. They say taking your eyes off the road for only 5 seconds while going 55 MPH is like driving down a football field with your eyes closed. Alarming, right? Staying safe out there is key.
2 – Maintain a safe following distance so you have enough time to brake
Remember to keep 2 car lengths from another vehicle so you can react in time. Swerving, slowing and speeding up repeatedly, or drivers acting strangely are instant red flags. For long-distance rides, turn off your cruise control.
Additionally, call 911 to try to get dangerous drivers off the road. You can be a hero out there.
3 – Be very careful at intersections
When driving in the city and hitting downtown traffic lights galore, look both ways and yield to oncoming traffic. Avoid being the first to hit the accelerator when light turns green. Accidents occur often at intersections when drunk drivers ignore stop signs and traffic lights altogether.
4 – Plan ahead and check the weather conditions before starting your drive
Be sure your trunk is loaded with essential tools for rain, snow, fog, emergency signs, first aid kits and, yes, barf bags. You can find all the rideshare driver gear we recommend here. Being over-prepared and ready for what may be out of your control is essential to being on target and never missing a potential ride.
Remember to keep water in the mix. Storing bottles in a small cooler is a bonus. Keep yourself hydrated when driving for long periods. Also, some riders appreciate the hospitality – and it can lead to higher tips!
5 – Be aware at every pick up and drop off location
During the busy season you will notice adults and small children are rushing, running, and texting while walking – even more so than usual. Once your passenger has closed the door and settled in, be sure you are aware of your surroundings before taking off.
The AIS Insurance study revealed there are more “pedestrian deaths” on New Year’s Day than any other day of the year. So watch out for drunk people wobbling on the streets!
The holiday season is typically a great time to drive for Uber and Lyft. Please, please stay safe!
What holiday-driving safety tips do you have to add for your fellow drivers?
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-Harry @ RSG