7 Must-Know Taxi Safety Tips for Passengers

Whether you’re riding in an Uber or a conventional taxi, it’s important to know some basic taxi safety tips. After all, robberies and assaults are a real possibility and can happen to anyone.

Try to avoid sitting directly behind the driver. Most attackers sit in the back so they can easily assault or rob you. Greet your passengers and make eye contact. This gives you a psychological upper hand and can help in identifying them should something go wrong.

1. Know the Taxi’s License Plate

A taxicab’s license plate is an important piece of information. It is usually located on the rear of the vehicle, but it can also be found on the side or plexiglass partition. It is important to know the number because criminals have been known to pose as taxi drivers and rob or harm unsuspecting passengers.

Most cities in the United States have a well-established system for licensing taxicabs. The taxicabs are often owned by independently incorporated small businesses that subscribe to a dispatch service. These vehicles may be identified by the company logo on the door or by the medallion number that is displayed on the roof of the vehicle.

Some drivers purchase clear, smoke-colored covers that go over their registration plates to prevent electronic equipment from scanning them. While these methods of avoiding detection vary in legality, they are not foolproof. If you’re booking a ride through an app, always verify that the car and license plate match what is listed in the application.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

Taxi and rideshare drivers can be a great source of information. Asking them about their home city, where they’ve lived in the past, and how long they’ve been driving can help you make an informed decision about riding with them. It can also help you form a more personal bond with your driver.

Some riders are afraid to ask questions that they feel are too sensitive or personal for fear of offending the driver. However, these fears are often overblown. Asking the right questions can lead to better decisions and stronger relationships.

For example, if a driver claims they’re not allowed to take the best route because it will cost them more money, ask why that’s the case. This will force them to explain and may even alert the dispatcher to an issue. It can also save you time and money. Invest in a convex rear view mirror that replaces or fits over your regular one to ensure you always have 100% back seat visibility.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Refuse a Fare

Taxi rides can be a great way to get around, but they can also be dangerous. Riding alone in a taxi can leave you vulnerable to theft, assault, and even rape. Fortunately, there are things you can do to stay safe while riding in a taxi.

For example, never sit directly behind the driver – this is one of the primary danger zones for passengers. Instead, ask the driver to move over to the right side of the car or to the back seat so you can see them better. You can also use a convex mirror that attaches to the regular rear view window and allows for 100% back seat visibility.

Also, make sure to remove all your belongings from the back of the car before exiting it. This will make it much more difficult for thieves to steal your items if they can’t reach them. Lastly, if you’re traveling with a large bag or suitcase, be sure to place it on the trunk floor where it’s hard to see and harder to reach.

4. Don’t Be Afraid to Call the Police

Taxi drivers should always have a working radio and keep in contact with dispatch. Keeping up with dispatch is crucial to ensure that they can quickly get help in the event of an incident or accident. In addition, a taxi driver should have a working GPS in their vehicle so that they can alert dispatch of their location at all times.

Another important taxi safety tip is to never drive into back lanes or alleys. These areas are used by criminals to hide from view and assault or rob passengers. Lastly, it’s crucial to not be afraid to call the police. Most wrongdoers are scared off by the prospect of getting caught by law enforcement.

Taxi drivers provide a valuable public service, one that is too important to be threatened by crooks. By implementing these taxi safety tips, both passengers and drivers can protect themselves and stay safe.

5. Don’t Take Rides in Remote Areas

Some taxi drivers will take you to remote areas such as back lanes or alleys for their own reasons. It is usually because they want to get you out of sight and attack or rob you. If you’re in Hasselt, always remember to choose a reputable Taxi in Hasselt for your transportation needs.

It is important to make sure that the driver can see you. If they try to take you down an alley or back lane, tell them that company policy states that passengers must sit where they can be seen at all times. Most people won’t argue with this and will oblige.

Also, let the driver know that you are familiar with your destination and how much the trip should cost. This will prevent them from taking you on a long, meandering route to run up the fare. Modern telematics systems allow drivers to record footage of their vehicle and even record the speed of the car and GPS location to provide evidence if a dispute arises.

6. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Taxis are convenient when you’re in a hurry, but they also carry unique safety risks that travelers should be aware of. If you want to get around without stressing yourself out, follow these taxi safety tips so that your ride is as safe as possible.

Keep a close eye on your suitcase, and ask for the driver to put it in the trunk if it has one. This will make it much harder for thieves to reach it, and it’s a great way to prevent theft. Similarly, you should never leave smaller bags, backpacks, or purses on the exterior of the taxi. Instead, stow them on the floor between your feet or loop them through longer straps around your leg.

Don’t let your driver sweet talk you out of using the meter or pretend that it is broken (which many do). If they won’t use the meter, don’t be afraid to walk out.

7. Don’t Be Afraid to Say No

Taxis are a great option for when public transportation isn’t available or you just want to get somewhere quickly. However, taxis can pose some unique safety risks for solo female travelers.

If you’re a passenger, avoid sitting in the front seat directly behind the driver. This may increase your chances of getting assaulted or robbed. Instead, sit in the back or in the middle seats, away from the driver.

Also, don’t let your cab or Uber driver take you down any back lanes or alleys. This is a common trick for attackers who want to put you in a position where they can easily assault or rob you.

Fortunately, technology can help protect your ride. Consider a dash cam or an interior camera to record any untoward events that occur during your taxi ride. This can come in handy if you ever need to make a complaint or file a police report about your experience.