Let’s be honest: as an Uber driver, accidents and unexpected passengers are bound to cross your path. It simply comes with the territory of working with people and vehicles, after all.
Staying focused on the road is easier said than done when you suspect something’s wrong with your vehicle or you’re dealing with an unruly passenger. The key to keeping your cool is understanding how to stay calm, manage your emotions and prepare yourself for stressful situations well before they ever arise.
We’ve broken down four tips for Uber drivers looking to focus on the road even when the going gets tough.
For starters, you can’t realistically stay stress-free if you’re worried about the condition of your vehicle. From understanding your rideshare insurance options to keeping up with regular oil changes and maintenance, a vehicle that’s well taken care of it going to cause you way fewer headaches. While paying attention to the fine details of your car might seem like a slight annoyance, it’s absolutely essential to keeping you and your passengers safe and driving with confidence.
Familiarize Yourself with Alternate Routes
Uber drivers rely heavily on navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze as guides, but those apps aren’t the be-all, end-all of your ability as a driver. To ensure that you don’t get blindsided or overwhelmed by a traffic jam or roadblock, having alternate routes in your back pocket can keep you on the road and out of a gridlock.
Furthermore, sometimes you may be in a situation where a passenger requests that you take a particular route of their preference. By scouting these routes in advance, you can make on-the-fly decisions with confidence for the sake of pleasing your passenger.
Look at the Big Picture
This tip is a two-way street. On one hand, loud, annoying or otherwise disruptive passengers are inevitable. Passengers that bug you or act obnoxiously can take a toll on your patience, but bear in mind that such trips are temporary. For every one or two irritating passengers, you probably get a dozen great ones.
The second piece of this tip is that you indeed do reserve the right to ask a passenger to calm down or exit your vehicle if they’re unruly. This is especially important when dealing with drunk or otherwise unreasonable passengers who may not listen to you until you address them sternly.
Although Uber drivers thrive on five-star reviews, sometimes you have to put your foot down. Don’t live in fear of a negative review, either: in the big picture, ridding yourself of a dangerous situation now is worth is in the long run.
Know When to Call it a Day
Sometimes your stress will get the best of you, plain and simple.
Let’s say you’re dealing with a heavy situation outside of your job such as a loved one in the hospital. There’s no shame in cutting your losses and calling it a day in case of an emergency While you obviously don’t want to make less money, you can’t realistically keep you or your passengers safe if your mind is elsewhere. It’s better to lose out on a few peak hours versus losing your ability to drive for Uber altogether.
Stress is a byproduct of being a rideshare driver; however, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it in check. These tips can help provide you with peace of mind during a dicey situation or rough ride.