Rideshare programs are becoming an increasingly popular choice for both passengers looking for cheap transit options and drivers looking for an extra source of income. Rideshare driver safety is a growing concern among drivers, as dangerous situations involving passengers increase as the number of people who participate in rideshare programs increase as well.
In any typical stressful situation, adrenaline will cause your body to behave in ways that are difficult to predict. As a rideshare driver, rideshare driver safety depends on your ability to be prepared in advance for any situation that may pop up.
The first thing to have on hand is the phone number of an experienced rideshare lawyer. You can breathe a little easier knowing you have someone who is familiar with the law on your side. As a driver, you should always be up-to-date with your rideshare insurance, and make sure you’re familiar with its terms.
The War on Drugs
As a driver in a rideshare program, you should be prepared for customers who try to do drugs in your car or even talk about specific drug deals while in your car. If this is the case, local law enforcement recommends you end the ride as soon as it is safely possible. The best way to do this is to stop at a populated area that is well-lit, like a gas station or department store parking lot. Make an excuse for your passengers of why you need to stop the ride and that they should find another option.
If you feel this could cause some conflict, make an excuse to exit the vehicle and head into a business to make your phone call to 911. Stopping at a police station is not recommended, as this could cause an adverse reaction in your passengers that could put your safety and the safety of others at risk.
Drivers in rideshare programs can be subject to verbal and physical abuse from their passengers. This can range from name-calling to full-out physical assault, and you need to be prepared for any number of situations. Unfortunately, many rideshare businesses employ drivers as independent contractors, so official rideshare driver safety training isn’t offered for many rideshare drivers.
Verbal abuse can be ignored, but physical abuse puts not only you and your passengers in danger, but anyone on the road can become potential collateral damage. In the event of a physical altercation, you need to safely stop the car as soon as possible and exit the vehicle. Call 911 immediately and report the situation. If you feel your safety is still in danger, get to a safe location like inside a store or around other people as soon as you can.
The Camera Is Your Best Friend
Your most precious tool in any of these dangerous situations is a dash-cam. Visible cameras within your vehicle will not only discourage unruly passenger behavior, but it’s also your best evidence against any false claims of what happened during the ride.