The Best Safety Items Every Rideshare Driver Should Have

In recent years, ridesharing has exploded as a popular transportation option, bolstered by easy-to-use apps like Lyft and Uber. Just as ridesharing has become a simple fix for pedestrians in a pinch, it’s also an easy way for everyday drivers to make some extra bucks with their vehicles.

But everyday people transporting strangers to and fro raises important safety concerns. As a rideshare driver, you should look out for your rider’s safety, as well as your own. Luckily, several must-have gadgets can prepare you for any situation that arises.

Must-have safety gadgets:

Hands-free phone mount: Since rideshare drivers rely on GPS navigation to map to new locations and provide the fastest routes, phone mounts are a safety essential. These nifty devices contain an adjustable clasp that latches onto your smartphone, leaving just enough room for your charging port so you can hook up to your aux as needed. Attached to the clasp is a suction that holds the rig in place on your dashboard or windshield. The whole setup allows for worry-free navigation, where your hands can remain on the wheel at all times and you need only glance at an eye-level map to keep on-course. You can find a variety of hands-free phone mounts online, with Amazon and WeatherTech being the most popular sellers.

Dashcam: As most rideshare veterans can attest, dash cameras can be a lifesaver in cases where you need to dispute a customer claim or, heaven forbid, provide evidence of unruly customer conduct. Like phone mounts, dash cameras easily attach to dashboards or windshields through a suction device and contain a surveillance camera that records all in-car activity.

First-aid kit: We all know humans can be messy, especially if they’re hauling luggage into a car or squeezing between other passengers. Since cars are confined and roads are often bumpy, it’s always possible riders could get injured on their route or fall victim to motion sickness. Keeping a small, well-stocked first-aid kit within your glovebox or tucked into a backseat pocket can help customers tend to their injuries in a flash, and prevent your car from looking like a crime scene. The same goes for sickness bags, which customers can use if they’re feeling nauseous. Even if the malady is only a paper-cut, your rider would certainly appreciate being offered a band-aid — and may give you an extra tip as a result!

Spare tire or flat kit: You never know what could happen on the open road. In the case a tire goes flat while completing your routes (or during any drive!), you’ll want to keep a spare tire and car jack in your trunk so you can remove the flat, attach the spare, and get back on the road in a jiffy.

Battery jump kit: Similar to spare kits, battery jump kits help re-start your car if your battery dies, and can be easily stored in the car itself. In the past, these kits would include jumper two jumper cables: one that attaches to the dead battery, and one that attaches to a running car battery. Things are a little different these days. Online, you can sort through an array of battery jump kits that hook to a rechargeable high-voltage battery, no second car required.  It’s an insanely quick fix that’ll save you from ever being stranded on the roadside again.

Location tracker: We often hear location tracking apps advertised to customers of rideshare services since they’re hopping into cars with complete strangers, but we forget that drivers experience the reverse of this scenario. Though they trust their passengers, there’s always the possibility that the stranger in their backseat could be using a substance, concealing a weapon, or intending to rob the driver. For these reasons, it’s a good idea for drivers to use a location tracker like FindFriends or Life360, and share their whereabouts with friends and family. Your safety matters, and if you happen to get stuck or are forced to drive to an unintended location,  your circle would be able to locate you through these apps and get help.

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