Taxis have become a common mode of transport in the present day. Many travelers prefer to travel via taxis. But doing so in an unknown city or country can be a bit daunting. While traveling to a new place, there are many different places which can provide one with taxi services, these can be availed either online or offline.
Online booking for taxis have made the task a lot easier and less hectic, like this website here which provides taxi services in the Hague which can be conveniently booked online. But past the booking of a taxi, it is also important for one to know how to keep oneself safe in taxis and which rules a traveler should follow to stay out of trouble.
Following are a few taxi safety tips that one should follow while traveling via a taxi:
Book the taxi in advance if possible
It is always advisable to book one’s taxi or cab in advance. This can be done either via a phone call, online or through the hotel one is staying at. This not only helps one in saving one’s time waiting for a taxi but also in ensuring the price range and the taxi number which can help one in identifying their taxi and share its details with one’s near and dear ones before boarding.
Registered taxi services have phone numbers that one can call ahead of time to schedule one’s taxi. One should enquire with the operator about the name or car number of the taxi that is supposed to pick one up. This is particularly necessary at airports and railway stations, where unregistered taxis are frequently found waiting outside to pick up desperate travelers. When the taxi comes, it is a good thing to double-check to ensure that it is the taxi which one requested.
Look for the taxi driver’s badge or identity proof
Taxi cab drivers in most countries are required to have a badge or identification card in their vehicle. One should carefully take a look at it before or while boarding a taxi and, if there is a photograph, compare it to the driver to ensure that it is the same person.
In case there is no badge, one can ask the taxi driver to show it to them. If the taxi driver refuses to do so then it would be a better choice to not ride in that cab. Remember that if something about the cab or the driver turns one off or just doesn’t “feel right,” one doesn’t have to get in.
Refrain from sharing a taxi with a stranger
Sharing a taxi can be a good way to save some money while traveling but it is not always the safest. If the person that one is sharing a cab with is a stranger, then the stranger could risk your safety and security. This is sometimes a charade used by a shady cab driver and a friend to rob or assault passengers. One gets in the car first, is followed by the other person. When one is robbed, the cab driver and the other person divide the proceeds.
Take good care of one’s belonging
When going via a taxi, it is good to keep one’s belongings as close to one as possible. It is easier for one to not lose their bags when they are in one’s line of sight. If the cab has a lockable trunk, one should ask for one’s suitcase to be placed there. Before one gets in the car, make sure the cab driver places one’s suitcase in the trunk and that the trunk door is completely closed. As for smaller bags and purses, they should be kept with the traveler, especially if they have one’s money or wallet inside them.
Keep expensive items and electronics hidden from the eyes of the taxi driver
If one is carrying items like a phone, a tablet, an iPad or a laptop, one should make sure that they are well out of the sight of the cab driver before getting into the cab, and keep them hidden for the duration of the trip. One can keep these items in a handbag or a backpack that one can keep with them throughout the cab ride.
Stay in the center of the backseat
A traveler is less exposed to passers-by who may mug or attack him if he is sitting in the center of the backseat. It is a good idea to keep one’s windows rolled up at all times, no matter how tempting it may be.
Especially in the areas where there is a lot of crowd. If one’s windows are rolled down, it becomes easier for others to grab one’s belongings from the backseat. This is especially important for women travelers as they are considered an easy target.
Have a general idea of the map and the place one is traveling to
One is more likely to be taken advantage of if one is relatively unfamiliar with a neighbourhood. This may jeopardise one’s safety while also costing one more money than one had anticipated to pay. It is a good idea to use an online GPS tracker like Google Maps to ensure that the taxi driver is going on the right path. If the taxi driver takes the cab in the opposite direction, or on a different path, or argues about which way to go, one should get out of the cab as soon as possible.
Traveling to a new place can be fun and exciting but the experience can turn into a nightmare due to scams and attacks on the travelers. Hence, it is important to always keep one’s guards up if one finds oneself in such a shady situation. This will not only ensure one’s safety but will also make traveling less difficult. One can keep oneself safe in taxis by following the above tips and just staying aware of one’s surroundings in general.