Is driving for Uber ssafe? This video is about an older incident caught on a dash camera where a Taco Bell Executive was drunk out of his mind and attacked an Uber driver. I think this incident and this video are still relevant today, so I’d like to share it with you and discuss driver safety.
Take a look at my video to see how I feel about the safety of Uber drivers, then check out the video transcript below if you prefer to read.
Fortunately, the driver had a dash cam going and some pepper spray, so he was able to protect himself. Long story short, the passenger got in a lot of trouble and got fired from his job. I wouldn’t say his life is ruined, but he’s gonna have a lot of problems going forward in life in general.
Is driving for Uber safe? Can Uber do more to promote safety?
It brought up a lot of questions about safety in general: What can be done about safety, and should Uber be doing more? I think that the things to keep in mind is that there’s still 1 million Uber rides every single day. Let’s say that there’s one incident a day, which is probably very conservative, I suspect that there’s a lot less, one out of 1 million is like, 0.0001%. When you put it in that perspective, the odds of something happening are very low.
I still understand the fear that people are having out there, “Hey, is this job as safe as I thought it was?” Because when you think about it, “Oh, I’m just transporting all these friendly people around,” but now when you see videos like this you’re like, “Wait, maybe this is something different then I really expected.”
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I think that you really have to look at the Taxi industry, for example, and you see that they have these plexiglass screens up there. Why do Taxi drivers have this? Now, I can tell you it’s there for a reason. It’s not there just because it looks good. It’s there to protect the driver from passengers because incidents have obviously happened in the past. As Uber starts to take more and more of that Taxi share, all those people who used to take Taxis, where do you think they’re going? They’re now going into the back of Uber. That’s something to keep in mind. Maybe in the past you thought that there was absolutely no risk, and I’m not gonna say now that there is a ton of risk, but I do think that it is there, it does exist even if it’s a very small percentage.
A more proactive approach can help ensure your safety
I would say that if you are worried about this or if you do think that this is an issue, the proactive approach always works the best. Having a dash cam in this situation was huge. He got this whole thing on video and there was really no question, no doubt, even if maybe the driver in this incident didn’t do everything perfect, the dash cam still really sided with him. I think video is super compelling, so that’s something that could probably honestly, be the best first option as far as a proactive approach.
Then, even when you’re out there driving, I think that there are a lot of cues and a lot of signs that you can take from passengers if you’re trying to avoid drunk passengers who can barely figure things out. If they’re not entering their destination, if they’re stumbling over to the car, and a big one for me, is if they’re not able to drop their pin in the right spot. If you go to the pick up point and they’re five blocks away, it’s probably because they’re wasted and they can’t figure out how to work the app, and their fingers are moving all over the screens. There are a lot of proactive signs that you can look for.
Screen your passengers and cancel risky requests
It’s kind of a bummer when you drive to someone and they turn out to be wasted and you can’t do that ride because you just spent time driving to them, you spent time looking for them. That’s kind of where it’s a game time decision, it’s up to you, “Hey, do I still want to transport this passenger, maybe take the risk of, he’s gonna throw up in my car or the very, very small risk that something could happen, or he just gets belligerent?” It’s really up to you at that point to kind of make a decision. Now me personally, if it’s busy and generally if I’m out driving party hours, I know that I can get a ride request pretty soon after that so for me it’s kind of a no brainer in that situation to cancel the request and then hopefully I’ll get a new one within a couple minutes. Drive away from that guy because you don’t want to get him again, obviously.
Drivers can try to diffuse the situation
I think that a lot can be said about diffusing the situation. There’s certain things that you can say that are really gonna piss them off, like kicking them out of the car. There’s also certain things that you can say that can kind of diffuse the situation and coax them down. You kind of knew that something was about to happen in that video when that driver kicked the guy out of the car. It was pretty obvious that he was not gonna take it standing up. I really think that kind of going in with the mindset and the attitude that you can diffuse the situation and last, last resort, is resorting to kicking to someone out. Last, last resort is getting out pepper spray. This situation ended up working out in the drivers favor, he was able to pepper spray the passenger and he wasn’t harmed.
It could’ve devolved into a much worse situation. I understand the need to carry a dash cam and the need to carry a nonlethal weapon, but I would really not want to use it unless it was absolutely, absolutely necessary. I kind of completely understand why drivers get fed up with this. I’ve been out there driving on the road and it’s easy to look and say, “Oh, you gotta just diffuse the situation, you gotta just handle it better.”
Watch out for little annoyances that add up
When I go out and drive and people are slamming your doors, and the 15th guy who slams your door, or the 5th group of passengers who tries to fit in six people, or try to bring in alcohol, it starts to add up and drivers can really get frustrated. That’s when you need to really be careful, it’s kind of like towards the end of your shift when mentally, you’re the most drained. You still have to kind of be on the top of your game as far as diffusing the situation because at the end of the shift, that’s when you’re gonna be dealing with the most drunk people.
Driving at safer times or doing delivery can help you avoid trouble
Those are my thoughts on safety. If you are pretty worried or concerned about this, you do have some alternatives, as far as driving during the day. You get pretty few passengers who are absolutely wasted during the day and if anything, it’s very, very uncommon. They’re pretty easy to spot if they’re drunk at 12:00 pm on a Tuesday. The other alternative is gonna be to deliver for delivery companies. Go out and work for DoorDash, work for Postmates, or even other local courier type services in your area. There’s definitely options if you are worried about the safety issues on Uber. Hopefully this addressed some of your questions. I look forward to hearing from you guys soon.
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