Thanks to Harry over at TheRideshareGuy for the inspiration for this post. We adapted the post quite a bit, but his post served as an inspiration for this.
Driving at night might not be ideal for drivers but it sure is the most rewarding time to be a driver in monetary terms. So how should you deal with this necessary evil? This article covers the best strategy to use when dealing with the unruly night crowd.
You receive a request at 1:00 A.M from the busiest part of downtown, and you know a ride is better than no ride. Business has been slow the entire night and you are itching to get out on the road.
The customer is highly rated, and you think to yourself, “they aren’t going to throw up in my car since they have displayed some sense of good judgement by choosing to leave before rush hours.”
You say to yourself, “I’ll quickly drop the customer and come back before the rush hour.”
You cleverly meander through a swam of taxis and you are arrive at the club to pick your cherished customer only to find they are in a messy state as this
At this stage, you are wondering whether you’ll handle this. But remember, at this point in time, there is no turning back.
The trio slide into the back of your car and the guy on the left mumbles something like, “let’s hit the road.”
As you drive along, the rest of the passengers sing loudly and ask you where else they can score some molly/coke/whatever.
You maintain your calm and try to keep an eye on the middle man through the rearview mirror. You notice that he is beginning to belch. Burple. Gurgle.
But your one consolation is that this will be over soon.
You arrive at the destination and everyone exits except the brother in the middle. He is not responding to any form of humanly senses; he is obviously unconscious.
After much struggle, he finally opens the eyes but makes no move. When you think that all this is just about to come to an end, he emits a gallon of puke which smells like rotten eggs.
His vomit is not only smelly, but also everywhere in your car including your back. At this point in time, the situation is beyond your control and you will be forgiven to throw a bunch of desperate blows at the bloody drunk. However, you remember you have to control your emotions and stay professional.
That is what you might concessionary experience during your night runs. In other words, majority of the night passengers are just as banal as the daylight passengers except they might be a little bit drunk and uncontrollable. So there is every possibility that you might experience this cohort more often. Hence, you better be prepared on how to handle a bad passenger every now and then.
The reason I love driving at night is because the streets are a little bit saner than during the day. I prefer good traffic and having to handle bad passengers to constantly having to deal with bad traffic. The former is the lesser evil.
If you are a night owl driver, it is important to maintain your control and be assertive when dealing with the night passengers. If for example you are going to pick a passenger from XYZ club, exit the vehicle and greet the passenger with a firm handshake and introduce yourself. This helps them to identify you as an excellent humane driver, different from the typical Uber driver. It also earns you some respect.
Most people, while high on something, don’t even remember that we have legs. So seeing you standing and introducing yourself will catch them by surprise and are likely to respect you with your property.
One thing you also need to remember is that you need to keep an eye on every passenger so that they don’t enter the vehicle with alcohol or even squeeze in more people than the vehicle can handle.
If by some chance something not good happens, do not try to belittle them or chide them. Instead, calmly and respectably explain to them that what they are doing is not permitted and they might not be covered by insurance in case something happens. You can say something like, “if you do this, you place me and everyone in this vehicle at a great deal of risk and there are a lot of cops patrolling the area.”
There is absolutely nothing wrong with parking and exiting the vehicle if the passengers are many and carry inappropriate cargo.
You don’t have to put up with rudeness, abusive language and bullshit simply because the passenger writes the check. A lot of the time it makes sense to stay calm and explain the risks to the passenger but if you are being met with indifference and hostility, you reserve the rights to cancel the trip without apology. This really needs to be an option because you can’t risk your vehicle and your security for whatever reason.
Any person who is going to argue with you that breaking the law is fine does not respect you, and that is exactly what they will do when you are riding with them. Don’t give in. Hold your ground and contact support when you are finished with the ride.
Emesis bags can be found at almost any drug store or you can buy them from online stores such as Amazon. Many drivers keep these bags behind the seats or at the glove box. It is advisable you keep them out of sight and only remove them when you read that someone is feeling sick.
Don’t expect your passengers to respect the cleanliness of your car when it is hardly clean. No matter how old your car is, you can keep it sparkling clean and make it look new all the time. I like vacuuming my carpet and cleaning the seats at most every couple days. This has helped me set the tone that my property is well maintained and I expect my passengers to respect that. This is more of leading by example and actions speak louder than words. In most cases, I find that someone has to be drunk on the extreme to leave something behind.
This is something I never forget. I tell whoever gets into the vehicle to buckle in. I will never drive unless someone has adhered to this simple rule and this keeps everyone safe.
Sometimes you will drive a couple of miles and realize that your passenger is unstable as a result of intoxication from drugs or alcohol. Handling an unstable passenger can be challenging. For my part, I often reach out to my mental health training to handle such cases. In case you come across these sort of people, here are some few tips to use.
Whenever a passenger exhibits some unstable behavior, the best way to deal with it is by diverting their attention to something else. For instance, you can tell a joke or ask an irrelevant question. You can also distract them by pointing something on the road and starting a conversation about it. Remember, you need to be in control; otherwise things might run out of control.
Sometimes all they need is someone they can talk to concerning their problems. From humanitarian point of view, giving your passenger a listening hear can do them a whole lot of good. Someone might be lonely and they are feeling sad. I usually try to ask leading questions, whenever I feel someone is sad, in order to get to know what is making them sad. If it is something I can help or chip in with some advice, I glad do it and I like the response I often get.
People sometimes get sad or depressed over small things or they exaggerate the level of problem. Try shed some silver lining in whatever they are upset about. Tell them that when one door closes, another opens. Tell them that if Bobby/Becky rejected them, it may have saved them some trip to the doctor. In other words, you can look at their problem from a different and positive angle and help them get over things.
In many cases, I have seen people who are upset but all they want to do is just to vent out their frustrations. In this case, just hearing them ramble is all you can do. It takes wisdom to know when someone is asking for advice or when they just want to verbally express their frustrations.
Please know your boundaries when dealing with an unstable person. The focus should be to make them calm and collected. Trying to lay a blame on them by being logical will almost always backfire because you are dealing with a sentimental person who is reacting to whatever chemic reactions their brain is creating. Don’t try to say cheeky things to them.
If things have finally spiraled out of control, stop reading this article. Call 911. You aren’t going to advise an intoxicated rogue who wants to rape you, are you?
If you are unable to control the situation or you suspect something fishy, just seek help. Do not wait. Your safety is prime.
The other available option is to use taser/paper spray. Although this can eventually lead you to be removed from a platform, your life is more important. If you have pepper/taser spray, keep it out of the eye of the passenger and only use it in extreme situation. Try to, as much as possible, avoid any form of violence within your car. It can be hazardous. Remember, violence is the absolute last option.
What does voxer do? It allows you to record sounds to friends in case something bad is happening to you.
What about Glympse?
Glympse is an app that allows your contacts to trace your GPS when you send them a link via a text message. You can be traced for as long as 48 hours. Inform some of your friends in advance and tell them that should they ever receive a glimpse link alert from you, they should send the police.
The police is your friend. Know your police stations so that you can quickly deposit your unsafe and unruly passengers whenever need arises. Knowing where your police stations are located in the community will protect you from the death jaws of some merciless passengers. If you don’t have one next to you, you can try to drop the passenger in a well-lit and public place, especially where you can spot some people.
Alternatively, you can instantaneously contact
Unfortunately, there is no critical response number in Uber.
Having said that, you should be on top of your game when it comes to handling passengers at night. Although there are dangers and risks, you can handle them if follow them above tips. Handling drugged, drunk and disorderly passengers might not be the best of things but it comes with its rewards. You can take advantage of the sanity of the streets at night and make more money. If you are on top of your game, you will just be fine.
Drivers, do you mind driving the drugged, drunk and disorderly night crowd? Do you think the amount of money you can make during the night is worth the risk? Let us hear what your opinion is on this matter.