Taxis are a preferred mode of travel for many when pressed for time, find public transport unsuitable or are simply unable to drive. However, travelling by taxi entails certain risks which can be avoided by taking basic precautionary measures. This article offers advice on ways to stay safe when taking a taxi, some are suggested by taxi drivers themselves. These tips will come in handy if you’re travelling late at night, drunk, travelling alone, are a woman or perhaps all of the above.
Call a taxi in advance
It is always best to call and arrange for taxis to fetch you from wherever you are rather than flagging one on the street. Select a taxi service that is reputed for good service, reliability and guarantees a safe journey. As soon as you enter the taxi, check identification details of the driver including the name, contact numbers and if possible, even the license number. These are usually located on the dashboard or the visor of the taxi. It is a good practice to make a note of this information, either on a piece of paper or on your cell phone and keep it until you have reached your destination. There is nothing offensive about this and is permissible by law in every country. These details would come in use should there be a problem or disagreement and can be used for future reference.
Sit behind the driver
Stick to sitting in the back seat, directly behind the driver, so that you are out of reach. Be aware of power locking or central locking mechanisms. Make sure that the locks and handles can be operated from inside the taxi so that in case of a mishap, you are easily able to manipulate them to get out. While making polite conversation with the taxi driver is fine, be careful not to divulge any information that does not concern the driver or your journey.
Don’t share with strangers
Avoid sharing a taxi with a stranger. Besides your safety, there may be an issue regarding splitting payment and the time taken to reach your destination. The most important point to consider is that this stranger might not be just another passenger and could have ulterior motives.
Remember these tips and and lower the chances of anything happening while you’re catching a cab after a great night out!