Where I live one of the main methods of transportation is by taxi. So here are a few tips to consider when you hail a cab.
- Don’t choose the cab that is waiting on the street,
- Don’t choose the first cab that pulls up for you (almost anticipating your need)
- Don’t choose a cab that has excessive dents, scratches, or evidence of old accidents
- Take a quick look around you before you talk to him through his window. Look for people who are waiting for you to bend over and lower your awareness while you talk to the driver.
- Don’t sit in the front seat of the cab (if you are traveling alone)
- Look at the driver and the area around him when you get in to the cab
- Look at his hands, make sure they don’t leave the steering wheel (your alert level should go up if one of them leaves the wheel for more than 2-3 sec)
- Are there newspapers, a rag, or magazines in the front passenger seat? (this is a good sign)
- Lock the doors when you get in
- Know how to unlock them and exit in case of an emergency
- Raise your alert level every time the driver slows to a crawl or stops (i.e. At traffic lights, stop signs, or traffic) Take note of people walking by, looking in, or approaching the cab.
- If something doesn’t look right or feel right get out of the cab immediately. Don’t wait to pay or confirm and see if your feeling is justified, because it will be too late.
- The address you are going to, is the only information the driver needs to know about you.
- Don’t tell him about your life, your house, your family, how long you have been here, your job, etc. You will be surprised to know how much personal information the driver can get from you if your guard is down. If he tries to start a conversation, you be the one asking the questions. Be vague when answering his.
- Sort your money before you get to your destination.
- Have the cab fare in your hand when you come to your stop.
- Look around the area where you are going to exit the cab. Look for people hanging around, watching traffic, watching you.
- Pay the cab and get out as smooth as possible. (Smooth does does not mean fast.) i.e. Don’t fumble, stumble or hesitate.
- Take a quick look at the cab seat you were sitting in to confirm you haven’t left anything.
Be safe, not walking in fear but in a heightened state of awareness.
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