5 Safety Tips You Should Take Note of When Riding Taxi Cabs

When not blessed to have your own car, what do you do? Depend on public transportation. In Manila, there is the Jeep, Tricycles, Trains, or Taxis. You can practically go anywhere with these public vehicles. But of course, one disadvantage is that you don’t control the journey, and there are lots of possibilities that may happen and danger is always imminent in public transportation.

Getting a TaxiUsually, there will be no problems whatsoever when riding a taxi cab, but when it is not your day, some problems like the smell of LPG (as this is the gas they use), defective meters, rude or negligent drivers, or perhaps when in the holidays, it is extremely difficult to hail a cab, more so if you are in a dense place like the malls and in the middle of rush hour!

Amidst all the issues, the most important thing to note here is safety. Public transportation is not like private transportation, that you don’t hold your own wheel and drive. In today’s economic crisis, many individuals will do anything to earn money, and using a taxi to lure in victims is not a new thing. Being paranoid about holdup incidents and other crimes related to cabs are not a bad thing as it can help you prepare for the ride and the possible danger.

If you want to maximize the safety of riding cabs, here are 5 tips you can use:

1. Plan and know your journey.

It will be very helpful and safer if you know exactly where and how you will go from point A to point B. Whenever that you may have time to plan the travel, do so and be familiar with the conventional path to be taken. This is to make sure you may instantly know that the driver may be diverting a path towards hell and to your demise. It is also best that you dictate the driver where to go along the way, prepare and use a map if you are not sure for reference. Feel confident to direct the driver and exercise your authority, after all you are the driver’s guest and not the other way around. Also, if you can plan ahead and fix the schedule of your journey, do so. Of course it will be better to travel on 10:00 AM rather than 10:00 PM, as the day minimizes danger. Whenever possible, ride in groups and have a male companion along. Women should as much as possible never ride alone and make sure to always have self-defence items such us pepper sprays as they may come in handy when things get ugly, and learning self-defence will surely help!

2. Take note of reputable taxi companies.

This is probably the one that you should do first as this can prevent all the other bad stuffs that may happen in the first place. Reputable taxi companies are surely to exist legally and they have their rules and regulations including safety measures for both the driver and the passenger. Some famous taxi companies include Basic, Hertz, Avis and among others, and they are almost sure to deliver a safe journey to you unlike unknown or illegal taxi companies that may prove to be dangerous. Here is a website you can check out for reference: http://www.infotaxi.org/philippines_taxi/manila_taxi.htm.


3. When riding alone, take the backseat, then lock and check the doors and windows.

This is not a sign of disrespect, but this is a precautionary measure. Lots of sexual offenders and kidnappers will gain the upper hand if they can easily get a hold of their prey, and once the driver requests that you sit up front do not hesitate to sit at the backseat. Do not also think to twice to hail another cab when this happens, as it is really strange and fishy once a driver requests his passenger to sit beside him. Do not also forget to lock the doors once you sit down to avoid possible outside dangers like the driver’s accomplices or outside snatchers. After locking the doors check again the doors if they are indeed locked from the outside, and check too if they can be indeed opened again after unlocking, as some wise drivers may have a trick up their door locks to keep you from going out. Checking the window is for ventilation whenever needed, as the driver may use chemicals from the aircon and knock you unconscious. Being able to open the window will provide fresh air when needed for whatever reasons. But once you feel bad inside the cab and the fresh air does not help, it is probably a safe thing to just end the ride and step out the cab.

4. Remember the taxi vehicle’s color and plate number.

Whenever possible, take note of the plate number and color of the car. Get the plate number before you get in, as the information inside the cab might be different. Doing this is not just for safety purposes but also for filing complaints. Record the data down in your cellphone so you won’t forget and text the police hotline or your friends if ever in a bad situation inside the cab. Always take note of your current location as the taxi plate number and color will be for naught if people don’t know where you are!

5. Ask for ID.

When you smell something fishy, do not hesitate to gather details from the driver. Taxi cab drivers should always carry with them a government issued taxi ID. Ask that from them, and make sure the picture and the name match their driver’s license, and then of course remember their full names and taxi companies they belong to, and his face. Once the info doesn’t match, ask the driver to drop you off and get out. Just in case you the driver does not stop, consider going out the cab by force, and the last option really is to step out in the moving cab, yes this is risky but it is better this way rather than to put your life in the driver’s hands. But before you attempt this, make sure to look up front and back to ensure there are no incoming cars, then jump out with hands clasping your face area and go with the flow of the motion and roll over while protecting your face. Once safe, be composed and ask for help and report the bad driver!

Trust your instincts, use all your senses, and act quickly. Be trigger happy with your phone once you feel the need to, and contact the authorities or a trusted family or friend. Text your concerns so the driver would not know, and it is a must to contact people early as you might not have a chance to do so when the driver steals your phone away. Use technology like Facebook, Twitter or Google Maps as all of these can be used to alarm people and to guide you along the way. Try to be friendly with the driver too at the start so you and him can be comfortable with each other, having a warm conversation with the driver may eliminate possible evil intents within the driver. Be practical and wise and prepare for the worst. Pray too as this should be your first and last weapon against all sorts of danger. If you are unsure still and you have the money, just get your own car and be your own driver. Hold the wheel and drive!

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