Taxis are unarguably one of the most popular modes of transportation when it comes to touring within any destination. The kind of comfort that taxis can give is far superior than any other mode of public transportation. The flexibility while travelling in a taxi is unmatched. Apart from the advantages that taxis have, at times a taxi ride experience can also get harrowing. During nights if Taxis can be a safe mode of transportation, they also pose a threat if driver has a malicious intent. If one doesn’t takes precaution, a taxi ride can also turn up into an unforgettable and unpleasant experience.
In this blog we have listed some top safety tips to follow while taking taxi rides. So that you all can have a memorable travel experience without any hitches.
Fully Charged Phone
This might not look very significant, but let us tell you that never underestimate what all you can do with your cell phone. Always check the battery of your phone before you board a taxi. If it is a long ride like intercity travel, then do not board the taxi unless you have a fully charged phone. If it is a ride within the perimeters of the city, then too ensure that your phone has at least somewhere about the quarter of the battery. It is essential that your phone is charged up to that point.
With a charged phone you can make emergency calls i9f something unwanted happens. You can call the taxi service provider to take action if the driver is misbehaving. You can also call the police if you are in some kind of threat. You can share live location of your phone with friends and family.
The avenues are endless on what all you can do with a charged phone. A charged phone is not just device for communication, but acts as a weapon in times of emergency.
Avoid Remote Areas
In the perimeters of the city, there will always be people around that will reach out if they see you in danger, or being attacked, or being robbed. But if you travel to a remote area, where the population is not only less but also dispersed, chances are that if the Taxi Driver stops and starts ripping you off your expensive items, there would no one to come for your rescue. The point being is that while travelling abroad, never take taxis that involve taking you to remote areas.
If that is inevitable, then take that ride in day time, and always book the taxi from a trusted source. If you have got taxi through a referral, then at least you will have someone to reach out to, in case of an unwanted travel experience.
The worst thing about remote areas is that forget about people, even the emergency services take time to reach such places, be it police team or an ambulance.
ID is must for longer plans
Taxis are not just meant for getting from your hotels to that popular restaurant of the city. Taxis can come in handy if you are keen on exploring any particular region like city to city. I am talking about the longer plans, where there is lots of intercity travel involved. If you planning on any such trip where your mode of transportation would be taxi, then the first thing you should check is the paperwork, like Drivers license, registration papers of the vehicle, tourist permit, amongst others.
If the paperwork is not right, never hop on to that taxi, no matter what explanation the driver gives you. Remember that it is your trip, and your holiday, if the car gets seized by highway police, then it’s you who will be stranded with ruined plans, and a loss of a day or two from your itinerary.
Travelling in a taxi without proper paperwork will not just result into a loss of day or two, but can also put you in trouble as to why you ever hired a taxi without proper paperwork.
Cab sharing is a No, No
Saving money while you are travelling can be tempting, but never fall into the trap of cab sharing especially if it is a longer route and passes through deserted patches of the city. Usually we would advocate for cab sharing, as there is no harm in it, but when passing through deserted regions this might be a little dangerous. You never know who these strangers are, you have probably seen them for the first time in your life, hence you cannot put trust in them and feel safe.
In case some people living in the same hotel as you have walked up to the taxi and are requesting a cab share, then go for it, as probably you will make a new friend. But if the cab sharing person is complete stranger, please pass on the taxi.
At times saving yourself from danger is more important than saving money. Cab sharing might sound like travelling in public transportation where too many people travel along with you whom you do not know, but both are different things.
Pick up and Drop Off
Remember that travelling in taxis is primarily meant for public places. Keep in mind that whenever you are being picked up by a taxi, do it in a public place, and whenever the taxi is dropping you somewhere, do it in a public place. This might mean that you will have to walk few steps, to reach such a public place, but this way you will be safe, and away from the darker alleys where the taxi might have to enter in case if your pick up or drop off point is not at someplace crowded.
With public places we mean, by the side of a main street, or in front of your hotel, or near a crowded circle, or the market area of the neighborhood. Such places are often also monitored by CCTV cameras, so chances are that you will not be exposed to any crime activity under such watch.
In fact it is a good practice, in case if you are skeptical about the taxi driver, to stop a place ahead or beyond your actual drop off point, just so that the driver doesn’t knows your base location.
Stop the taxi if it discomforts you
This especially goes for the women solo travelers. If you are travelling in a taxi and the driver is making you feel uncomfortable, then there is no obligation to continue that ride. Stop the taxi at the very moment you feel that you no longer can take this ride forward. Step out of the taxi immediately, pay the driver, and take another taxi if you haven’t reached your destination. Remember that while travelling there is nothing more important than peace of mind.
A driver can make you feel uncomfortable in many ways, like by playing obscene music, or by talking too much that too inappropriately, or by constantly staring at you with the help of the rear mirror. Remember that you are not paying that taxi driver to make you feel uncomfortable.
In instances like these, when you will step out, the taxi driver might try to stop you and talk into you, but do not engage with him, just pay and walk away.
Don’t flash costly items
While travelling the costly and important items that you are going to carry will consist mostly of your camera, your waist pouch that might consist important papers, the jewelries and the accessories that you are going to wear. Make sure that they are not too flashy. With this we mean, that your costly items should not be costly enough to invoke lure in the minds of taxi drivers. The best way to do is to keep them stuffed in your bags and only take them out when necessary.
This goes especially if you are returning from some club, or a party in the destination you are travelling in. Chances are that you will wear your costly watch, or that glittering bracelet, or that shimmering necklace. Our advice is to wear them but only in the party, while returning unworn them into your bag.
Instead of carrying these costly items, it is best advised that you do not even carry them. Remember traveling is about making memories, and not flashing jewelry.
Drunk riding is a No
People who like to get drunk while away in some foreign destination, this is for you. If you are too drunk to lose sight of what’s ahead and what’s not, then we advise you to not take a taxi. You might be feeling the opposite that after being drunk it is better to take the taxi and safely reach back to your hotel, but let us tell you that you are wrong. Under the influence of alcohol, you might doze off while travelling in the taxi, only to wake up to find yourself by street side and ripped off everything that you had.
These cases are very normal. The moment the taxi driver sees a passenger who is helplessly drunk they see it as an opportunity to rip them off. Some drivers might not think the same, but many do. The best way to deal with this situation is to never travel alone when drunk.
If you will have a companion then chances are that you will not become victim to such mishaps. If you are a solo traveler then party someplace nearer to your hotel.
Backseat is the best
This choice might be subjected to the cultural norms of the destination, but the best place to sit inside the taxi is the back seat and never next to the driver. This goes especially for women travelers, as the more space you will have from the driver, the lesser opportunity he will have to make inappropriate contact with you. By sitting in the back seat the riders also have two possible exit points in case of any emergency where you feel or are trapped.
By sitting in the back seat you can also keep a close eye on the taxi driver, on his movements, that too without even making it obvious. In case of distress you can also easily call for help while being on the back seat, as opposed to being seated beside to the driver.
By seated in the back seat you are also in a comfortable position to track the movements of taxi on any Map Application, to ensure that you are moving in the right direction.
Keep the windows closed
This applies especially if you are touring a developing country. You have to be cautious about your surroundings, and the chances are high that some thief might lay their eyes on you. Remember to keep your windows of the taxi closed, or else you can become a victim of bike gangs that snatch cell phones and jewelry while riding at high speeds. It is very difficult to catch these people once they have done their job. They will vanish into thin air with their bikes.
If you are worried about the ventilation while the windows are closed, you can always lower down the glass to a point which gives room for fresh air to come in. Trust our advise, as by keeping 6the windows closed you are only going to avert a mishap.
Once you are on some highway or a road that wide and doesn’t has many stops, you can always lower down the glass. Such backdrops do not facilitate such crimes.
Female Solo Travelers must talk minimum to Taxi Drivers
Travelling is all about opening up and indulging in experiences that you will not find anywhere else. But female solo travelers must keep some limits. IF the taxi driver is not from the hotel, or someone you have picked up randomly, then it is best advised that you do not talk much with them. The point being that they must not know that you are travelling alone. If they poke you to ask, you can always state that you are on your way to meet a local friend, or you have a boyfriend waiting for you.
Most of the taxi drivers are honest, and legit, but there do are some rotten eggs in the basket, that will always look for easy targets. If they know that you are alone, and which hotel you are staying, then if not by themselves, they can pass on this information who will make you a victim.
Female solo travelers must insist on taking taxis from reliable source, like from hotel, or from the travel company that arranged their tour, or from a trusted Taxi application.
When in Doubt, follow the reviews
People who prefer Mobile Taxi applications, must take a note of this. There might be times that you are travelling to a place that is infamous for mugging and street crimes. There might be times when something bad happens to you and you turn skeptical of everything. In such situations you will always doubt about the authenticity of the taxi drivers. As you do not know them personally, judging them at times can be difficult and hard to figure.
In cases like these, always check the ratings of the drivers on the application, and what reviews people or riders have left for them. This will help you pick the driver who gives excellent service. Pick drivers with 5 Star ratings, or a little less than that. Chances are that you will find a legit driver.
Follow this practice especially when you are dealing with a local made Taxi Applications and not the likes of Uber. This will sure build up your trust in your ride.
Taxi, take me everywhere!