A growing number of rideshare drivers, delivery drivers and community advocates are speaking out about the dangers they meet at work.
Rideshare and delivery drivers face assault, vehicle theft, robbery, and even death. Therefore, drivers have started banding together to make their jobs safer through advocacy groups and sharing safety tips with each other.
Insider spoke with seven current and former rideshare drivers about their top tips for staying safe.
“Always stay calm,” said Dottin, a member of the coalition of Justice for app workers In New York. “If you feel like you’re in a dangerous situation, the worst thing you can do is escalate it. If you see a rider already coming in upset, the best thing you can do is stay as calm and level-headed as possible.”
“Always be aware of your surroundings and always stay in the areas you know,” said Ventura, who is a member of the black car mob and a member of the Justice for App Workers coalition in New York City. “Don’t step out of your comfort zone.”
“I tell new drivers to always confirm the passenger’s name and to always keep the doors locked until the passenger confirmation is complete,” said Wideman, a full-time activist and member of the Justice for App Workers coalition. on Long Island, New York. .
“Drunk passengers are often a safety issue. Their uncontrolled alcoholic personality can cause them to grab the wheel, open doors while in motion, or attack the driver. I tell other drivers not to take drunk passengers, especially if they wouldn’t feel have them in your car. A lot of times when a passenger is drunk and gets to their destination, they don’t want to get out of the car. I tell drivers not to argue with them or physically get them out. Instead, call the police to come and take them away.
“The most important safety tip is to get a dual dash cam that records inside the vehicle. This protects the driver against false accusations and denials by the passenger.”
“Driving requires a lot of skill,” said Ibradov, who is a member of uzBER and a member of the Justice for App Workers coalition in New York City. “However, the most overlooked skill is the ability to smile and say sorry. Road rage is a leading cause of car accidents, and simply letting it go keeps everyone safe.
“Hurrying is the leading cause of car accidents. Take your time.”
“If the rating is low, just skip it,” said Burgess, who works in Chicago. “If someone has a low rating, there is a reason. Riders don’t get a low rating because a driver felt bad about their ride.
“I also completely separated the front area of the car from the back, so no one can reach under it and get to me in any way. I know rideshare drivers who have had their cars stolen or had a gun put to them on the head so hopefully the shield will be a bit of a deterrent I also have a dash cam that records inside and outside the car and uploads the video immediately to the cloud so I can get proof of anything that happens from immediately on my phone.
“Lastly, stay away from your phone when waiting for a passenger and be aware of your surroundings. Always look behind you. Always look for the customer. If there is ever a situation where I feel in my gut that something is not OK, I’ll cancel the trip.”
“Try to de-escalate a tense situation,” said Malik, who works in New York City. “Talk it out. Take a deep breath, feel your surroundings, and try to understand the problem. Don’t fight back. Don’t panic. Do your best not to argue or fight back. Before you start driving, install a heavy-duty plastic cover.” . partition between you and the client”.
“I had a driver once tell me that when picking up a passenger, he would take off his seat belt in case he had to run if he was ever in an assault situation,” said Rivera, who helped found New York Drivers Unite and is a member of the Justice for App Workers coalition in New York City. “After a few blocks, if the driver felt safe, he would put his seatbelt on and drive on. I’ve followed that advice.”
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