As a taxi driver or chauffeur, you face driving and personal safety hazards while you perform your job from a mobile workplace. Because you work mostly alone, interface with the public, handle money, and work at all hours, you are at an increased risk for assault and homicide. Your vehicle is a mobile workplace and your worksites (freeways, highways, and surface streets) are among the most dangerous in California. Prepare for these hazards and use safe work methods to ensure your safety.
When you get into your vehicle, buckle your seatbelt, it is your most important safety device. Practice safe driving techniques by maintaining a safe speed for the roadway and the conditions at the time. Allow a safe following distance so you have enough room to brake or perform emergency maneuvers. The California Highway Patrol recommends that you allow a three-second cushion between you and the car in front of you. Add one additional second for each weather condition and hazard on the road.
Take security measures with your vehicle when you are on the job. Keep your doors locked and your windows up when parked or on the roadway. Stay aware of your surroundings and keep track of your location. Use maps or satellite devices to pinpoint addresses. Stay in street and parking areas that have adequate lighting. If you are unfamiliar with the surroundings or the clients, keep your vehicle running during a pickup. When possible, stay in the vehicle and use the remote trunk release to give them access for luggage and materials. Don’t enter dead end streets that make it difficult to maneuver; back your vehicle in to maintain your state of readiness.
When you are greeting a passenger, be confident and make eye contact. Read the signals that the customer gives you and trust your instincts. Beware if the passenger gives you vague directions or refuses to give you a destination. You have the right to refuse passage to anyone who does not give you proper directions or an address, exhibits dangerous behavior, or directs you to an area that is too dark or dangerous.
Control your cash when you are on the road. Make it a policy to limit the amount of money that you carry. Make frequent drops, deposits, or limit your cash transactions by using cashless fare systems. Cover your trip log and do not flash your fare or tip money. Consider advertising that you do not carry money.
Use safety devices for your vehicle such as partitions or shields that separate the driver’s area from the passenger area. Security cameras, emergency signs, and panic buttons are also useful technology that can keep you safe. Make sure that you have a communication device such as a radio or cell phone available in the vehicle.
With training on driver safety and personal safety along with proper work methods, you can steer clear to safety.
The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for medical advice or legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations, or standards.