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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Safety First: Why Personal Safety Should Top Your Checklist When Using a Taxi Service

Last updated Monday, July 17, 2023 12:45 ET , Source: Swoop Taxis

Understanding the significance of being vigilant, and making informed choices when using taxi services. This article from Swindon taxi app SWOOP, explores how passengers can improve their own safety

Bath , United Kingdom, 07/17/2023 / SubmitMyPR /
The Importance of Safety When Using a Taxi Service
The Importance of Safety When Using a Taxi Service


Booking a private taxi is recognised as one of the safest ways to travel, particularly when visiting a city or area you aren’t familiar with, travelling alone or at night, or when carrying luggage and other belongings.

However, it remains essential for every traveller to be conscious of their safety, ensure they only get into verified taxis that match the details on their booking, and for drivers to take steps to protect their wellbeing.

SWOOP, the Swindon taxi app, runs through some standards and advice to ensure every journey is risk-free.

Safety Guidelines for Taxi Passengers

The first tips are perhaps obvious but absolutely worth reiterating. The Metropolitan Police reports that between 2018 and 2022, over 1,000 assaults were recorded related to journeys in private hire cabs, usually because of fake taxis where attackers pose as cab drivers and even add decals to their vehicles to convince victims they are legitimate.

  • Book your transport – never flag down a car that isn't clearly marked as a taxi or away from controlled taxi ranks. You should be 100% sure that the vehicle you get into is a licensed, registered cab.
  • Don't share cabs with strangers – while ride-sharing can be kinder to the environment and reduce the costs of travel, entering a car on a whim with somebody you have never met can be risky. Only use approved, pre-booked ride-sharing apps.
  • Use trusted and established taxi companies – reputable cab firms vet their drivers, maintain high standards in terms of driver quality and vehicle safety, and run background checks before any self-employed drivers are allowed to accept bookings.

Passengers should match the licence plate on the vehicle with the details in their SWOOP taxi app before getting in, check the make and model of the car are consistent, and look for the taxi driver's licence, which should be on clear display.

If in any doubt, contact the taxi firm and ask them to confirm the information, or simply do not get into a car if you have any reason to feel unsafe.

Improving Safe Working Conditions for Cab Drivers

While we might assume that safety measures are only relevant to passengers, it is equally vital that drivers can work safely without exposure to abuse, theft and other attacks. One of the best approaches for cab companies is to use the hybrid payment model implemented in all SWOOP vehicles to combine passenger convenience and driver safety.

SWOOP allows passengers to pay with either a card or cash as they wish, without registering their payment details. Many travellers are reluctant to enter credit or debit card details into an app and can instead pay on the day.

There are other best practices taxi drivers can implement to enhance their personal safety:

  • Keeping windows clean helps drivers view passengers approaching their vehicle, allowing them to lock the doors and windows if they feel concerned, such as when collecting a passenger in a busy city centre, avoiding non-booked passengers from entering the car.
  • Reviewing the safety of the vehicle, making sure the locks work correctly, alarm systems are functional, and having immobilisers and other precautions to protect them from vehicle theft.
  • Installing dash cams can be useful and helps drivers resolve potential insurance disputes following an accident while also recording their journeys and deterring antisocial behaviour or providing evidence of incidents to their employer or the authorities.

Drivers working with a credible taxi firm also have real-time communications with the office in the event of an emergency or can call in or verify the passenger details before they complete a pick-up.

General Safety Advice When Using Public Transport

There are several ways everybody can improve their safety and ensure they are mindful about putting themselves in potentially unsafe situations. If travelling somewhere new, it can be better to ask a hotel concierge or restaurant front desk to book a cab for you or recommend a local service.

Having the local emergency contact details on your phone is also worthwhile, ensuring you can call for help quickly should the need arise. Many smartphones have one-click emergency dialling options, and you can store the details of a trusted contact.

Avoiding having valuables on display, such as money clips, wallets, expensive jewellery, and electronic devices, reduces the risk of theft, and keeping luggage, bags and other belongings in clear sight at all times provides the assurance that you won't forget something or miss a bag being taken.

Many drivers will be happy to accommodate you if you'd like to put a bag in the boot. Still, the best option is to state when booking your car how many passengers and bags or suitcases you have with you – this enables SWOOP to match your requirements with an appropriately sized vehicle.

Safety Benefits of Travelling With Licensed Cab Companies

The privacy of a taxi journey makes it far safer than using public transport such as a train, metro or bus. It gives a passenger control over their travel arrangements, knowing where and when the car will collect them and being able to double-check the details against their booking.

If you are travelling with valuables, a taxi is the best option, where you are not exposed to potential bag snatches. Passengers needing long-distance transport, such as travelling to and from an airport, often choose to pre-book a taxi since this means:

  • Not having to travel on busy public transportation with large, bulky bags.
  • Having help loading bags into the cab without navigating queues, escalators and steps.
  • Relaxing during the journey without needing to remain vigilant of the movements of strangers around them.
  • Travelling directly from the taxi pick-up point to their destination, avoiding walking alone between stations or bus stops.
  • Keeping their luggage safe and in view, with luggage racks on public transport often located at one end of a carriage and difficult to supervise.

Following these tips and being conscious of the need to be safe when travelling will ensure you can book a cab and complete your door-to-door journeys with confidence that you, and your belongings, are in good hands.

Read more about SWOOP Taxis - The Benefits of Booking a Taxi Online vs Calling a Taxi Company 

About SWOOP Taxis

SWOOP is a fast, friendly, and stress-free taxi service operating across Bath, Swindon and Chippenham. Order your cab via the app and have the full control of paying the driver direct. All drivers accept credit, debit cards and cash paid direct to them at the end of your journey.

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Source Company: https://swoop.co.uk/

Original Source of the original story >> Safety First: Why Personal Safety Should Top Your Checklist When Using a Taxi Service