Uber has grown in popularity since its entrance into Nigeria. Anyone who likes to move around with ease, without having to drive their own car or jump commercial buses is most likely aware of the urban taxi. With the Uber app, a ride is just a click away.
There have been reports of passengers’ safety being threatened while using the service. As with all endeavors, there are bad eggs who try to ruin things for genuine people. There are Uber drivers who are very professional. Not much is said about their safety. Everyone deserves to be protected especially when they are doing honest work.
All sorts of activities occur on Nigerian roads. Uber drivers can also fall victims to these activities. If you are an Uber/ Taxify driver or you know anyone in the business, this safe driving tips for Uber drivers brought to you by Naijauto will be very helpful.
1. Use a cell phone mount
Given that you make use of the Uber app on your phone for driving, you have to be looking at your phone intermittently for directions. Taking your eyes off the road is bad enough while driving; taking it all the way down is even worse. To prevent this, invest in a cell phone mount. You simply mount it on your dashboard, and can take a peep without having to look far away.
2. Avoid distractions
The safety of passengers in your car is your responsibility. Until they alight from your car, they are in your care. Your goal should be to take every passenger to their destination without any harm. By all means, avoid anything that could cause distractions to you. This is not the time to answer phone calls or reply text messages. Taking your eyes off the road for a second could result in an accident. Do not create room for that to happen. People working in offices take their work seriously, and stay away from their phones during working hours. This is your own job. You should treat it with the seriousness you would give any other job.
3. Have a car insurance policy
In order to protect its drivers, Uber makes provision for liability insurance. But this comes to fore when you are actively driving a passenger in your vehicle. This is in your best interest. Do not exclude yourself from it just because you do not want to pay for it. Accidents are not planned for; they can happen at any time. Ensure that you are well protected in case you get involved in one.
>>> Need more reasons to buy car insurance? Check here: Why you need a car insurance in Nigeria, and how to buy one
Using the right tool can save your time, money and sometimes the whole life
4. Ensure that passengers fasten their seatbelt
Seatbelts are in cars to ensure the safety of occupants. It is your duty to ensure that passengers in your car fasten their seatbelt as you drive them. Some passengers can be difficult. They may take this the wrong way and flare up. Be very polite and professional about it. Do not make a fuss. Speak to them in a gentle and professional tone.
5. Drop off passengers away from traffic or busy zones
How you drop off passengers matters. There are rules and regulations on the road. Do not drop off passengers in a traffic or busy zone. Other cars moving on the road could collide with yours or hit passengers as they alight. If passengers try to alight when you have not properly parked your car, politely ask them to hold on for you to get off the road completely.
Improper parking on the road could also get you arrested by road officials, and you would have to pay a tangible sum before you will be released. Do not give them the opportunity to take money from you. Park well.
6. Keep calm under stress
Driving is stressful. Carrying difficult passengers worsens the situation. If a passenger is getting you agitated, resist the urge to engage them rudely. Remember, you are offering them a service. Regardless of who they are, while in your car, it is your duty to give them the best service. Keep calm, and take them to their destination.