A taxi driver is a unique job with a rare set off hazards to face. Taxi drivers deal with a large number of strangers on a daily basis and some of those they will be driving around will be intoxicated from a night on the town, leading them to act differently than they normally would.
Taxi drivers also have a lot of cash on them, and being alone in a car that can be called to any location, they are also at risk from criminals and thieves who see them as an easy target.
For these reasons, risk assessment is a vital skill for a taxi driver and in order to minimise threats of violence or abuse there is an essential set of skills for taxi drivers to follow in order to stay safe:
Be aware of surroundings
Whether they are driving someone to a destination, parked in a secluded spot or are away from their vehicle to take a quick break, one of the most important tricks for taxi drivers is to be aware of their surroundings. Experienced drivers know how to spot danger developing before it becomes a problem; from difficult and/or intoxicated customers to potential robberies, taxi drivers quickly develop a keen eye for trouble.
The right equipment
Improved technology has allowed taxi drivers to stay safer than ever before; simply having a mobile phone on them makes them able to contact police in an emergency but also the inclusion of technology such as dash cams and CCTV can ensure you have the evidence should something happen. Equally if you are driving a minicab for a ride-sharing app like Uber or Ola, then there is an extra degree of security. Dash cams are also proven to be a good deterrent; thieves look for easy targets, if they know they are being filmed they will be very unlikely to try anything rash.
Never carrying too much cash
Taxi drivers deal with a lot of cash transactions on each shift so it is important that they make regular drops to ensure they aren’t carrying large quantities at any one time. Any cash that is in the taxi should always be well obscured from view of passengers and to anyone outside the vehicle to prevent would be thieves from snatching a driver’s hard earned money.
Know your emergency procedures
Each taxi company will teach all of their drivers all about their emergency procedures. This ensures drivers know the most direct route to hospitals or police stations in the case of an emergency and helps them keep a cool head and avoid fighting back in an incident. Handing over money is always a smarter decision than getting into a fight with a potentially dangerous individual, earnings and valuables will always be covered by taxi insurance so don’t risk your life unnecessarily.