Winter Rideshare Safety Tips

Winter driving is no joke in general. Everyone needs to slow down and be sure to take the proper winter driving precautions, but if you drive a rideshare, your point-to-point driving makes you more vulnerable to getting in an accident than if you were simply driving to and from work. Add to this the dangers of driving in winter – not just snow, but colder months – and you have a situation that will quickly tell you if you’re an attentive enough driver or not. Here are some times for keeping yourself and your riders safe during the winter.

Snow Means Fewer Drivers

If you drive somewhere where snow is common during the winter, fewer drivers on the road can mean good and bad things. Of course, if the conditions are too dangerous to drive, don’t chance it just for a few bucks. If the conditions are such that other people are choosing you instead of driving themselves, then you have the possibility of a little extra cash. Fewer drivers does mean the snow may be piled up higher and more of a danger, so be sure to keep scrapers and other winter basics and emergency supplies in your trunk, including extra fluids for your car and a shovel and kitty litter in your trunk for getting unstuck from snow.

Drive Patiently

This is true year-round, but you should make sure to be extra careful not to rush if there’s a chance of hitting snow and/or ice and skidding out and possibly ending up in a ditch. If you have to be slow, be slow. Getting to your rider’s destination period is more important than getting there on time.

Know the Safest Roads

You should always be aware of the safest roads in your area, in case the snow and ice maintenance is better on some roads than others. Of course, you want your riders to feel safe, as well, so be sure to communicate with them clearly if there’s a change in the route – make it clear to them that this is a proper, safe route to their destination so that they can feel comfortable in their ride with you.

Keep a Safe Distance

Along with driving slowly, making sure you’re further away from other cars than normal is critical to avoid hitting another car, since winter weather is going to make it slower and harder to brake on time. You should make sure you know your own car well, and if you know you aren’t a great winter driver, you should avoid taking fares until you’re more skilled at it. Also, if you’re driving with Lyft, Uber, or both, you should know their safety standards in addition to your own personal ones.

Be Prepared

Your emergency kit should contain provisions like food and water in case of the worst possible winter emergency, but you should also make sure your car has been properly maintained to avoid accidents or breakdowns in the winter. If you need snow tires or chains, make sure they are installed and maintained before heading out.

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