Following the recent events and trends of kidnappings and manslaughter as reported in various cities across Nigeria, it is imperative for us to familiarize ourselves with simple safety tips while boarding a Cab or taxi.
Taxi-hailing services like Bolt, Uber or Fastride as a means of transport have come to stay in Nigeria. Tens of thousands of trips are being taken every day across some major cities in the country. However, this transportation model has disrupted services like the usual Yellow Taxi and public transportation and if the middle class rises, its use will continue to ascend, as people patronize the ride-hailing services for various reasons which include comfort, privacy, safety, and convenience.
While most users consider the use of Uber or Bolt taxis safe, there have been incidences that have caused serious stirs. There have been cases where riders have been robbed of valuables.
It is against this backdrop that we have found it important to provide these seven (7) safety tips for riders of Uber, Bolt or other taxis services in Nigeria. This is especially important if you are a female or new to certain locations you’re not familiar with.
1. Verify the Vehicle Specifics
After confirming a ride is on the way, make sure the car matches what’s listed on the ride-share app upon arrival. Check that the make, model, colour and license plate number all match. Beyond ensuring general safety, the measure is also helpful in large cities or busy environments were many similar vehicles are out completing rides.
2. Confirm You’re the Passenger
A predator could easily pose as a ride-share driver; never disclose your name first. Ask the driver who they’re here to pick up so you can confirm it’s the right person” who requested via the app. It’s a crucial way to ensure driver accountability and avoid any unwanted confusion for the passenger.
3. Travel With A Friend
Strength in numbers is best, no matter the endeavour. In the case of ride-sharing, it’s always a good idea to travel with someone else. If you must go alone, use the apps’ “share status” feature so that friends can track the ride. Let them know your destination, and check-in with a text or phone call once you arrive.
4. Never Travel Alone Drunk
Never take a taxi alone if you’re drunk. If you’ve had too much to drink, it may seem like the right decision to get a cab — and it is, with someone else.
5. Always Wear Your Seat Belt
Even careful motorists can be involved in accidents, so don’t treat ride-share precautions any differently — even on brief trips. It has been observed that there’s a different attitude in a taxi or ride-share as opposed to being in a more personal car. Apart from the fact that buckling up is the law, seat belts save lives. Seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries related to car crashes.
6. Don’t Enter A Car With a Passenger
Never enter a taxi with someone else in the passenger seat. No matter what the reason they’re there, it can mean no good for you and it’s commonly a way that travellers get robbed, kidnapped, raped, and even murdered.
7.Trust Your Gut
A driver who follows a strange or unsafe route — or manoeuvres erratically or makes inappropriate comments — needn’t be tolerated. If it doesn’t feel right, change where you’re going or say, ‘I’ve changed my mind and you can let me out here. A good driver will do that.