I read in the news of an Uber driver, who was gruesomely murdered by his passengers who initiated an e-hailing ride request on September 5th, 2021. The driver, a medical graduate from University of Lagos ( unilag ) was supposed to have resumed work as a medical doctor the day after he was snatched away by the cold hands of death, the killers were his riders. The pain is parents are going through now, is better imagined than experienced. It feels like a steel knife in my windpipe if I am to describe the pain they must be going through.
With the high unemployment rate in Nigeria, e-cab hailing apps like Uber, bolt, taxify have been a blessing in disguise in the already saturated unemployment market. Most e-cab hailing drivers are unemployed graduates or another stream of income for workers trying to make unlikely ends meet. With my wealth of experience as a safety professional, If you are a bolt, uber, taxify driver or a cab-hailing driver, let me give you a few tips to use especially when driving at night in a place like Nigeria as the insecurity in our dear country is at the all time high.
First thing first, we must be safety concious all the time so we don't learn safety by incidents that could have avoidable. Secondly be familiar with areas where you ply your trade. Some areas in Lagos are no-go areas at night, poorly due to potholes and not properly well-lit. Make sure you ask questions about areas you are not well familiar with but if you find yourself in such areas, just cancel the ride request and tell the customer that it is company's policy to ride in only well-lit areas. Thirdly, we are address the way we we dress. This rule is very important when embarking on a nocturnal ride, appearances matters alot because most of the criminals been caught have this weird look ( dreadlocks, tattoos like tears around their eyes ) and gothic dress sense. Check their body language in order to smell any danger. Trust your gut feeling to decline a trip if you think the rider poses a threat. Fourthly, make sure you only pick a male rider at night, let them know it's company's policy and if it is just a male rider, don't ever let him sit directly behind you in your vehicle, make sure he sits within your eye line. The reason I said eye line is maintaining eye contact with a rider gives you a psychological advantage because a potential thief will want to attack when you appear timid and distracted. Fifthly, make sure your windows are rolled up and all doors locked, only roll down one window a little bit when talking to potential riders to avoid dragging you out through the window Incase of an attack and locked doors gives you the opportunity to see the rider before entering your car because not seeing their faces gives them an upper hand. Lastly make sure you rest between shifts and eat healthy to keep you at alert. Don't put up any resistance to an armed attack to avoid any eventualities and make sure you know the emergency numbers to call.