For those who have driven for Lyft or Uber, it may be easier to empathize on the occasion that you’re a passenger. However, for those who haven’t been in the driver’s seat, consider these tips during your ride in order to have the most pleasant experience possible.
1. Ignore Your Driver
While you might have a few things to get done en route to your destination, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t at least greet your driver and ask how their day is going. While every driver and passenger has their own preference for conversation, if your driver tries to engage in polite conversation, chat with them!
Nothing is more awkward than a 20-minute (or longer) ride in complete silence (aside from some music in the background).
2. Bother Your Driver
At the same time, you don’t want to be labeled as a backseat driver – literally. Distracting your driver by trying to tell them how to drive and where to go doesn’t help either of you. Depending on the driver and their experience, it may make them uneasy, causing them to make a mistake while driving. Let them do their job and drive you safely to your destination.
While it’s great to feel comfortable with your Lyft driver, it can also be easy to suddenly feel like your anonymity transforms your ride into a therapy session. While it’s fun to engage in conversation and share a little bit about your life, don’t use this time to ask life advice from the driver or tell them your life story. In some instances, this might be appropriate, but that would be an exception to the rule. Generally, your driver simply wants to get you to your destination as pleasantly and painlessly as possible.
4. Drink Alcohol in the Car
You may think this is a no brainer, but don’t think that it hasn’t happened. Since passengers are not driving, they decide to bring the pre-game to the backseat of their Lyft ride. Quite simply, don’t do it – it can get both you and your driver in trouble if you get pulled over by the police. The driver takes even more responsibility since they are the one driving and it’s their car.
5. Get Sick in the Backseat
After a fun night out, you might not be feeling great on the way home. Once you realize what might happen, alert your driver so they have time to pull over. If you don’t think you can help it, perhaps… puke in the bar before leaving, especially when using Uber or Lyft.
6. Request One Too Many Extra Stops
While both Lyft and Uber offers the convenience of adding a stop into your ride, don’t ask your driver to make a bunch of unexpected stops to pick up friends or stop at the store. While many drivers are happy to make these stops for passengers, it’s not appropriate to cut into your driver’s time, during which they could accept more rides and increase their earnings instead.
7. Leave Items in Your Driver’s Car
It happens – in the shuffle to get out of the backseat of your Lyft, someone may forget a phone, purse, or other important items. While Lyft has a process for drivers and passengers (as this happens quite often), it can be tricky figuring out where to pick up an item from a driver. In some cities, there are hubs where drivers can leave lost items, but ideally, just don’t do it – take an extra second before getting out to make sure you have all of your belongings with you, so your driver doesn’t have to go out of their way to return the item.
8. Leave Trash in the Car
Whether it’s leftovers from the restaurant or simply an empty water bottle, nothing is worse than leaving your trash rolling around your driver’s backseat, unbeknownst to them. Even if it was from another passenger, let your driver know so that others don’t have to deal with it and potentially give the driver a bad rating because of it.
9. Forget The Car Seat
If you have an infant or toddler, and you call for an Uber or Lyft, make sure you have a car seat with you.
Justifiably, many drivers will flat out refuse to take an infant or toddler if you don’t have a car seat. It’s simply not worth the liability.
10. Forget to Tip Your Driver
Similar to tipping a server in a restaurant, if you can’t afford to tip your driver even a dollar or two when using the service, it may be better that you don’t use the service until you can afford it.
It may sound extreme, but you wouldn’t not tip a server when you eat at a restaurant, right? The only exception might be if the service is really bad, but even then, its’ relatively rare. It’s the same with using Lyft. While your driver may receive most of the money you paid for the ride, consider if they’ve gone the extra mile, figuratively speaking. Are they kind and courteous? Does their car look and smell nice? Go ahead, give them a few dollars for ensuring your ride was pleasant.
If any of these scenarios sound all too familiar – don’t fret. As a passenger, you can now be more diligent with these tips in mind in the future, and enjoy your ride with Lyft!