Checking the backseat after every trip

Being a rideshare driver can be fun but also exhausting. We do a lot of freeway driving, often in traffic and while working long hours. We try to do our best but sometimes we forget to do things like check the backseat at the end of every trip. It is just a small thing but it can really make a difference for our riders. It can also be a huge time saver for ourselves. 

All too often riders will leave their phone, wallet, umbrella, or other personal belonging in the backseat of your car. If you can check the backseat as they are leaving your car, you can get the item back to them right away. This often pays off with a good rating and sometimes even a tip. Now I would much rather get it to them in the moment than be asked to bring it back to them later – even for a fee. Let’s face it, you make more money taking rides than you do returning items. It really isn’t worth your time.

Furthermore, if you are constantly checking your back seat, you always know the condition of your vehicle. If the rider in your car has damaged it in any way, you will instantly know who did it. You can then get your pictures and file a claim with your rideshare company.

If you do a fair amount of night driving, it is a great idea to make sure you set the interior lights to come on with the opening of a car door. That way any damage will be immediately apparent – especially for that thing we all hate the most, vomit! This happens to almost every one of us, so you want to catch it right away, take pictures and get that cleaning.

Checking the back after each rider really is an example of “an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure!”

6 things to look for when buying a dash camera for rideshare

Everyone is talking about dash cameras for their cars, especially rideshare drivers. It is a great way to protect yourself. It can prove you were not at fault in an accident. You can show Uber or Lyft footage of an unruly rider not  wearing a mask or acting inappropriately. It can also provide evidence of your actions if you were pulled over by the police and so much more.

There are so many models out there it can be overwhelming. So what are the features that are a must have us drivers?

Price – DashCam models can start out at $50. and move on up to more than $400.. However, most of the features you may want as a rideshare driver can be found in the $200 range. 

Easy installation – No one wants to read a book or need a computer science degree in order to install your camera in your car and the app on your phone.

Video quality – 720p is pretty standard but you might want to consider 1080p. It allows you to zoom in on a face or license plate. Some models in the upper price range offering 4k but that is more of a luxury than a necessity. 

Parking Mode – We all have to leave our cars unattended from time to time. This mode will automatically start recording the moment it senses a vibration.

Dual Cameras – You also want a model that has a camera facing forward to record any kind of traffic incidents you may encounter and one that is rear facing to catch the activities of an unruly rider. 

Wireless streaming  – This is a nice to have feature because it allows you to view footage from your camera without having to remove a memory card. 

Dash cams can be found at many of the big box stores or online. For this kind of purchase, I prefer Costco because of their excellent return policy, and they never charge a restocking fee! Even though they do require a membership fee, the services they offer make it worth the price.

As more of us return to rideshare, protecting ourselves has never been more important!

Double parking risks and possible solutions

We’ve all done it: you pull up to the pickup location and the rider isn’t there. You are going to have to wait, so you decide to double park hoping they will be there soon.  

Double parking is a common occurrence for rideshare drivers especially in big cities. It’s true that sometimes it seems like there aren’t any other options, and I understand. When this does occur, please use your hazard lights so other drivers know to go around you – but know you may get a ticket. According to Legal Beagle the fine for double parking is $165 in Chicago, $115 in NYC, and $110 in San Francisco. We are talking about a big fine on a fare that may only be $10.00. The rider will not be paying the fine! You made the choice to double park and now you are the one stuck paying the bill.

So what are the options to avoid these fines? Start scanning the block for a spot to pull into near the pickup location before you arrive. If you find one you can text the rider to let them know where you will be waiting. I like to use a business name so the rider will have an easier time finding me. Text the rider with something like, “This is your Uber driver. I am waiting for you in front of the Subway restaurant and I have my hazard lights on.”

Please don’t be that driver who just double parks even through there is a driveway or an open space for you to pull into. We’ve all seen it and it is so frustrating for all the drivers around you. Not only that but other drivers will be laying the horn on as they pass you for blocking traffic. Your rider will wonder why you didn’t just pull into the open spot even if it was just a driveway.  

Let’s all work together and double park as few times as possible. It will help lessen the frustration of driving for everyone.