Any time you enter a taxi or minicab – anything driven by someone else – you surrender a little control to another person. Often that person is completely unknown to you, so it’s important to think carefully about your personal safety while travelling in a taxi.
On the other hand, many taxi drivers are terrific sources of information about local customs, current events, best restaurants and entertainment, and more. Taxi drivers are often experts on safe and unsafe neighbourhoods and what threats may lurk at your hotel or destination.
Many cab drivers are also great to talk with and an excellent opportunity to practice your language skills. Still, be cautious with over-sharing because they may pass the information on to someone else who does not have your best interests at heart.
Here are the latest top 5 taxi safety tips:
1. Ask ahead for the typical price range
We can give you an idea of the price, so get a quote ahead of time if you can. Having a good idea of what you should have to pay – and confirming the price with the driver ahead of time can mean less hassle when it’s time to pay the bill.
2. Call for a taxi instead of hailing one
Some independent taxi drivers work in partnership with thieves. The scam goes like this: the driver spots something valuable on your person (jewellery, a camera, a mobile device) and they text the thief with the route. Because the thief knows the taxi and the route, they only have to wait at a traffic light to open the door and snatch what’s yours.
3. Never take a taxi alone if you’re drunk
If you’ve had too much to drink, it may seem like the right decision to get a cab – and it is, with someone else. If you’re drunk, the ride in the taxi may put you to sleep. The drink may also put you into a semi-conscious state – not the best circumstance to defend yourself from the driver, a partner the driver called, or anyone else who wants to harm you. Riders have been raped, beaten, robbed, and even killed after getting into a taxi when they’re helplessly drunk.
If you’re drunk and need a ride, take a non drunk buddy along with you and stay awake during the ride.
4. Look for a meter, a radio, a badge, and a door handle
All genuine licensed taxi and minicab drivers’ vehicles are equipped with a meter (for determining the charge) and a radio (for taking calls from the dispatcher). In nearly all countries, the taxi driver is required to carry and display their ID badge in the vehicle. If you don’t see a badge or a radio, do not get into the vehicle.
Always check that there’s an interior door handle that works before you settle in too. Some regions in the world are notorious for kidnapping travellers this way.
5. Sit in the back-seat – not in the passenger seat
In the back-seat, you’re less visible to the driver and to passers-by as well. If you’re travelling solo, sitting in the middle puts you farther out of reach too. The less accessible you are, the less likely you’ll be targeted.
These are obviously extreme cases of the type of dangers to look out for. The best way to avoid any kind of trouble while taking a taxi is to call us, Alpha Taxi in Teignmouth for a 100% safe and reliable journey!
Call Alpha Taxis now on 01626 773030 to book your taxi.