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11 mistakes to avoid when boarding a Taxicab



taxi in nigeria


On this post we are going to discuss some of the mistakes you should avoid as a passenger when boarding a taxicab. Avoiding these mistakes would safe you some troubles that could cost something valuable and in some cases life if care is not taken.

It’s true that we all need a taxicab at some point to move from one location to another as we journey and move around during the course of our activities and engagements either as foreigner in city or citizen just commuting to another location.

In other to experience seamless transit, it’s important to be cognizant of these mistakes and try avoiding them when you are in taxi for a ride.

1. Taking a Ride With Car-Windows Open

Some passengers don’t care much about open window and would jump in with both feet at any taxi available to them, so long as it takes them to destination. But in today’s modern age you deserved more than just a ride. Not only would a completely closed window gives you a pleasant purring sound as car get into motion but also do the following;

1. Shut out unpleasant air and dust from finding its way into the car which is unhealthy for you.
2. Mitigate theft and keep criminals & hoodlum from having leeway and free access to snatching your gadget or belongings away through the window especially when in heavy traffic and dangerous areas.
3. Keep desperate hawkers away from flashing and dangling their products right into your face when in traffic which could be very annoying particularly if you are not very interested in their product.
4. A completely closed window give you a slight advantage at some check point for easy pass especially if the car gleams, as officers at times believe with experience that such vehicle won’t ply the road without satisfying all requirements. This obviously safe your travel time and increases your chances of arriving destination as early as possible.

Boarding a cab with a working Air Conditioning system will give you all of these benefits as window won’t have to be wind-down for inflow of air.

2. Car Doors Un-Lock During Transit

It is very important to have all the car doors locked centrally as soon as the car gets into motion especially if you travel as a family and have your kids with you.

With burning desire and bubble curiosity of these young minds, the child may get tempted to pull the door-handle; at times intentionally and sometimes unintentionally; and before anyone could realize anything, the door is already widely open with car still in motion(“Naija movie scene in action, lo”), thereby posing serious threat to everyone in there and to other road user. Tell the driver to turn it all locked centrally as soon as you get into the car in other to checkmate the likely occurrence.

Also, having your car doors all locked during transit makes it difficult for unauthorized person outside to have access into your car at traffic, check point and other stop overs; giving you little control and time cushion which maybe critical to try safe yourself in case of a desperate attack.

Inform the driver as soon as the car get moved to turn it locked centrally, and make sure you confirmed it locked by attempting a pull.

3. Sitting In Front Passenger’s Seat:

Sitting right in front of a car may give you chance to have a better view of the road, current location and landmarks especially if you are visitor. As pleasant as this may seems especially for tourist and adventurer, this position present some downside which you must consider before trading-off your rear-seat for it.
· First, it leaves you with no privacy between you and driver.
· Second, it leaves you with no much space & freedom which you might need to place your hand-held and other belongings.
· Third, it leaves you in control of only one exit door in event of emergency.
· Finally, this position open’s you up for much heavy impact in cases of collision and crash(Seat belt is crucial!).

Going into the rear-seat has a lots more upsides than down as it
. Gives you privacy to do things you consider private without having the prying eyes of your driver on you easily
. Gives you more space and freedom to place your handbags, gadgets and other belonging while keeping an eye on it
. Gives you control to two exit door either side in case of emergency
. Finally gives you a bit of pride especially if the car is unbranded.

I recommend you go behind front passenger seats position, for this gives you a good view on driver activities, good vision on upcoming vehicle and an eye on speedometer in case you want to monitor current car speed.

4. Asking The Driver How Long It Takes To Reach Destination:

Asking your driver how long it would take to reach your destination is a no! no! no! question to ask if you are a first-time visitor. Why? Because it quickly suggests to driver that it’s your first visit to the area and thereby opens you up for possible misfortune if he does not have your best interest at heart. You may only have to rely at his mercy for whatever happens to you and your belonging.

So rather than asking him that, you may want to answer that question yourself by reaching out to your smartphone and fire up your GPS App to find out the distance online. Also and more importantly monitor your radar to be sure he is heading to your destination. You certainly won’t have much privacy to do all of that without arousing his curiosity if you sit up there in front with him.

Never open yourself up to driver; remember you are dealing with a stranger, someone you are meeting for the very first time. So you’ve got to have some element of doubt in mind.

I would say you install GPS App on your smartphone so you can check online for distance/travel time between source and destination location and as well monitor progression on radar if necessary. You can strip away any nurtured ulterior motives from him by letting him know that a friend is actually waiting to receive you at your destination.

5. Stepping out of Taxicab First before Driver with Luggage in Trunk:

As a passenger, you run the risk of losing your belongings in the car trunk at night journey if you step out first at destination or stop over. A driver with ulterior motives would simple capitalize on your vulnerability and zoom off quickly as soon as you stepped out first.

Regardless of the circumstance that surrounds, always be alert. Make sure you don’t step out first before the driver especially if it’s a first time service from him and not a cab company cabby.

Here’s some tricks; as soon as you arrived at destination, politely tell him to help you out with your luggage in trunk and wait for him to step out and do that first before you step out. Your luggage is literally safe at this point as soon as he has the trunk open and luggage out. It better to always safe than sorry. Be very alert especially at night!

6. Keeping Your Small Bag in Car Trunk:

Our small bags contain some of the most important stuff we carry along during our travels; laptop, document, travel passport, ticket, jewelries, money etc. Having your small bag in trunk leave you out of control, limit your access and as well put you at higher risk of forgetting it especially if you’re in a rushed mode at dropped off location.

This would spell even more doom with a driver with bad intention, as he zoomed off soon as you alight (that’s if you fail to apply advice 5.), leaving you with little/no chance of recovery.

Imagine what happens if your travel passport, documents, money and every other valuable content of your small bag are all gone in a snap during the course of your travel. Don’t let this happen to you!

Always have your small bag besides you when boarding a private taxicab. This would safe you some troubles and give you some control over it. In case of emergency when time is of essence, you can quickly grab your bag and head for exit without wasting valuable time being at the mercy of the driver to have the trunk open to access your bag.

Have your small bag with you always, it doesn’t have to be in the trunk. Its even “light enough” to be placed on your laps. Keep it with you.

7. Falling Asleep during Transit:

I know some might say “Oh! What is he talking about? I can’t get control of this most time; besides can’t one should get fully relax at will and count on delivery after paying for a service?”

You absolutely can i’d say; but trust me you can only count on that if you are using your regular cabby or a known taxicab company otherwise it’s a No! No!! thing to consider if you are using the driver for the very first time and it’s you first time visit to destination. You wouldn’t want to fall asleep only to wake up to realize the driver has driven past your desired location or to an entirely new area.

Always stay awake and alert in other to have some control and not fall victim of circumstance.

8. Becoming too Friendly with Stranger Cabby:

It’s not uncommon to see someone step into a taxicab for a ride and all of a sudden break the ice to begin a conversation with the cabby especially if he/she is a typical extrovert. It always almost happen to most of us.

We know human nature crave association and desire for communication when we found ourselves within a tiny space or domain of few individual. As natural as that might be, you have to be careful and conscious of your communication so you don’t end up dishing out much information about your personal and professional life to a total stranger; someone you don’t know much about, all because of his or your friendly nature.

Let’s face it, this is a stranger, someone you are just meeting for the first time; MY!! You’ve got to have some reservation in your mind. You can chat on the general stuffs if you desire to talk and of course about the ‘at the moment’ scene, action and happenings during the course of the journey and a few other stuff. No too much information. Be careful not to get caught up here!

9. Being Unprepared to Alight Prior to Destination:

Its common to see passengers not prepared to alight just before their step out destination. This put you literally in a rush mode and predisposed to leaving your wallet, phones or other personal belong which must have slipped out of pocket during the course of your journey.

Just before your destination location; try to checked yourself to be sure everything you stepped in with is with you; that you don’t leave anything behind as you step out at final destination. Doing this would put you in control and ensure that everything is with you.

10. Telling the Driver to Speed Even More :

This is one of the most horrible mistakes done by most passengers when in for a ride. Here, you see passengers asking the driver to hit the gas pedal even harder beyond normal travel speed in other to catch up with late appointment, meetings, flight schedules and so on. This single act put the two of you and every other persons in the vehicle in higher jeopardy with possible unforeseen circumstance like tire burst, brake failure and other looming doomed that surrounds every car in motion.

You should never request the driver to accelerate beyond comfortable speed level for two reasons except on special cases such as potential attack and life threatening emergency;
. Every driver has a specific speed limit they can comfortable run. Exceeding this speed endangers everyone as he runs the risk of getting out control in slightest loss of concentration.
. Most cars used for taxi do not have full grip and balance to run beyond certain speed effectively without getting a bit swayed and teetered.

The rule of thumb is, always get prepared early enough for your journey, so you don’t put yourself and driver on unnecessary pressure during transit.

11. Being Quiet when Driver Becomes Reckless:

Just as you it appear unsafe to request the driver to speed the car more than expected; being quiet on the other hand when he hit the pedal unnecessarily harder and making unsafe overtaking won’t do you any good too.

Even though you are not behind the wheel, you still reserved a huge control on how you should be driven to your destination “for he who pays the piper…” . Don’t be quiet or afraid of voicing out, to have him in check if its unbecoming.

Cases like this usually happen when the cabby is thinking of dropping you off quickly at destination in other to have his car available for another cash in possible.

Its important to be careful on who you picked for your drop off. Its usually safe to choose your regular driver who understands you better or a cab company because they have a reputation to protect and always strive hard to care first for their customer before themselves.

I wish you a safe ride on all of your travels.

This marks the END of our 11 Mistakes to Avoid when Boarding a Taxicab. I hope its contain some helpful and valuable insight. Become aware of them and strive to stay safe while on transit always.

Best Regards!

Credit: Geniuscab

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