As a taxi driver, the safety of yourself and your passengers will be your top priority. Just because you're in a taxi, it doesn't mean that the normal road risks don't apply. As a responsible cab driver, you need to be on the lookout for potential problems all the time, and be prepared.

Part of that preparation is having the right taxi fleet insurance in place. This can help protect your vehicle, yourself and your passengers in the event on an incident.

Here at Taxi Insurer, we can find you a quote based on your specific needs and business. 

In this article, we'll talk about some of the practical things you can do to ensure your passengers have a safe and enjoyable ride.

That way, they're more likely to use your services again and recommend you to their friends and family in the future.

 

Know your safety routine

Every taxi fleet should have a series of safety measures and procedures in place, in case anything goes wrong. Make sure you check all the safety supplies in your taxi before you set off on a shift.

This might include making sure you have your mobile phone, a torch and a first aid kit, as well as knowing any emergency radio calls or signals.

Also check that the CCTV is working if you have it installed in your cab. This provides an added layer of protection for you and your passengers in the event of an incident and, in some cases, might even deter a difficult passenger from starting trouble if they know they're on candid camera!

Check your type pressures before you start shift, too, as well as the oil – breaking down may put you and your passengers in a potentially dangerous situation so minimise these risks before you set off.

A person holding a depth checking tool to check the tread on a car tyre

Ask your passengers to buckle up

It is the law that all passengers should wear a seat belt, so ask your passengers to buckle up when they get into your taxi. Conversely, licensed taxi drivers who are plying for trade don' t legally need to wear a seat belt but it is strongly advised that you do.

 

Minimise distractions

Many passengers will naturally want to chat with their taxi driver and engaging in a positive way with the customer is all part of a good service.

But equally passengers should not attempt to distract the driver for safety reasons. As the driver, you need to have your full concentration on the road ahead, rather than talking non-stop.

Also, have a sign in your taxi or make it clear that eating, drinking and smoking in your cab is not allowed. And if you invite the passenger to sit up front with you, discourage them from touching any of the controls and grabbing the steering wheel or radio.

You may be a fan of the radio but remember that loud music can be a distraction without you even realising it. Make sure you can hear the normal road noises, the sound of your indicators and so on.

Many drivers use their mobile phones for keeping in contact with the taxi base or using it as a sat nav. Make sure this is mounted properly allowing you to speak hands free at all times.

 

Don't take risks

Sometimes passengers are in a real hurry to get to their destination but you shouldn't be tempted to speed or take unnecessary risks on the road, even if they ask you to. This is for your own safety as well as theirs.

Stick to the speed limit at all times and, if you're driving in an unfamiliar place, assume that lampposts mean the limit is 30mph. 

A red telephone box with a time lapse of lights on the road next to it

Make sure you're fit for duty

As a taxi driver, you'll know that working long hours, especially when it's late at night, can take its toll.

Make sure you're well rested before you start your shift, have something to eat and drink and keep yourself alert by jumping out of your cab now and again for a stretch.

Sitting down and being sedentary all day can have a negative effect on your health, so by keeping as active as possible you will stay alert and minimise the risk of an accident – good news for you and whoever you're carrying.

 

Dealing with drunk passengers

The nature of taxi driving means that, at some point, you will pick up a passenger who is a little worse for wear, especially if you work nights.

Pick ups from nightclubs, bars or restaurants are common, as people want to go out and drink without risking the drive home. This is, of course, the most sensible thing to do, but it does give you, as the taxi driver, a potential problem to deal with.

First of all, if an intoxicated person gets into your cab, you have a duty of care to get them to their destination safely. Try to remain calm, polite and pleasant at all times. Remember you have the right to refuse the fare, but only if you feel threatened by the passenger's behaviour and if they're being violent or offensive.

The threat of them being sick in your cab is not a reason to refuse - keep sick bags in your vehicle and encourage intoxicated passengers to use them.

If there is an emergency and the passenger passes out, call for back up or ring for an ambulance.

A modern bar with five men drinking at the bar

Protecting your passengers and your vehicle with taxi fleet insurance

Here at Taxi Insurer, we want to help you protect your taxi and your passengers.

Public liability cover is becoming more and more important for cab drivers as even when customers are not actually inside of the vehicle, you could still be liable for their safety.

From carrying bags to opening doors, with public liability cover you can be sure you’re protected and empowered to give a great service.

Other benefits of taxi fleet insurance through Taxi Insurer can include:

 

  • Low deposits and monthly payment plans
  • Employer’s Liability
  • 24-hour claims management service

 

Looking for comprehensive taxi fleet insurance to protect your cabs? Get in touch with the specialists today and get a quote.

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