Taxis are a popular mode of public transportation that can get you to your destination quickly and without issue. However, there are risks involved when you get into a vehicle with someone you don't know. Customers have been robbed or physically harmed by illegitimate taxi drivers, and protecting yourself from the worst is an important part of an uneventful ride. Here are five critical safety tips that you should never ignore when riding in a cab.
1. Call Your Taxi Cab In Advance
Calling a cab in advance from a reputable transportation company in the area you're in is your safest bet. While there's usually no problem with hailing a cab off the street in busy cities that have a number of taxis, it may not always be a wise option to get in just any cab. Before you get into a taxi, make sure the vehicle is clearly marked with the company's name and information, and there's a working meter and a radio.
2. Never Share a Cab With Strangers
Although it may seem like a good idea to share a cab with the person standing next to you who is also hailing a cab and conveniently going to the same place, this can actually be a very dangerous set up. Although splitting the fare may be tempting, it's always better to ride alone or with someone you know.
3. Sit Directly Behind the Taxi Driver
The safest place to sit in a cab is directly behind the driver. The driver cannot reach you in this area while operating the vehicle, and must stop the car and get out or turn around in order to do so. This allows you ample time to get out or call emergency services. Avoid sitting in the backseat that is behind the passengers seat if you are riding solo, and never get in the passengers seat, even if prompted to by the driver. Also, avoid getting into a taxi that already has a person in the passenger seat.
4. Check That the Taxi Has a Working Interior Door Handle
After you get in the taxi, but before you tell him or her where to go, check that the cab has a working interior door handle. Test it out by opening and closing the door to ensure you will be able to get out of the cab in the event of an emergency. Many taxi cab scammers break or disable their interior door handles in some way so that the passenger is unable to open the door to get out.
5. Keep Your Cell Phone Within Easy Reach
If your cell phone is in your pocket or purse, take it out and keep it in your hand or on the seat next to you during the ride. The phone should be within easy reach, and you should know how to reach emergency services in the area where you are. This is especially true in foreign countries, where calling 911 may not be the custom. Take the time to learn who to call if you should encounter an emergency before you hail a cab.
Although the far majority of taxi cab rides are uneventful and result in little more than getting from point A to B, it's critical that you know what steps to take to keep yourself as safe as possible. These five safety tips can help reduce the chances that you will encounter an issue during your ride, and can help you act quickly and efficiently in case you do happen to sense any danger. Always trust your intuition, and never accept a ride from a driver you feel uncomfortable with.