by Nigel Chin on

The practice of taking a private-hire car is so common in 2019, but surprisingly, there are still some who can’t seem to enjoy a nice, peaceful ride.

Fallouts between a driver and his passenger could ruin the day for both. Worse, the incident could go viral on social media, causing more grief to one or all parties.

Here’s how we can survive a ride without any incidents.

A little courtesy goes a long way

Ever had experience with drivers who got lost on the way to your location and had to make a long detour, or simply couldn’t find your pick-up point? And when you call to try and guide them to where you are, they end up telling you off?

I have. Their grouses: that I selected a pick-up point that isn’t very convenient, or that the pick-up point where I was at isn’t where they would usually pick up passengers from.

Sometimes, their unhappiness could last the entire journey, making it an awkward and unpleasant ride throughout.

It’s not uncommon for passengers to be unfamiliar with a new place they’re going to. And some may end up with drivers who’ll grumble if they’re forced to make a detour, as though it was your fault.

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In such instances, it would have been nice if drivers could be a little more courteous and patient with their passengers.

Of course, being polite applies both ways, too. Passengers who are unhappy with their driver should also communicate their unhappiness in a civilised manner.

Passengers do not want a roller coaster ride

Drivers, if passengers wanted a fast and furious thrill ride, they would head to a theme park instead of booking a ride on a private-hire car.

You might have experienced it: a car ride with constant jerking from the driver’s repeated tapping of the car’s brakes, the unnecessary changing of lanes, and the long, harsh braking of the car that makes you feel as though you could be thrown out of the vehicle.

They make for a rough and unpleasant ride, with little opportunity for conversation, particularly if you’re feeling queasy from motion sickness.

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Try keeping the drive smooth and striking up an enjoyable conversation with one another instead.

Don’t assume drivers know it all

While private-hire drivers are considered service providers whose jobs are to ferry passengers to their destinations safely, mind reading is definitely not part of the deal.

You can’t expect a driver to know the route you wish them to take without saying it. For most drivers, relying on their GPS helps them to do their job more efficiently.

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But in the event that you do not agree with the route suggested by the GPS and have a better one in mind, speak up politely. Accusing them of targeting you – whether or not it is because of your race – wouldn’t help the situation at all.

Drivers are just trying to make a living

Drivers, like everyone else, are just providing for themselves and their families. They’re trying their best to earn as much as they can in the shortest time possible by completing as many trips as they can.

Completing a certain number of rides would also qualify them for higher incentives, which translates to more earnings. Therefore, a driver’s priority would be to opt for the quickest way to get to a destination, which might require them to go through an ERP gantry.

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Taking the longer route just to avoid ERP charges not only increases the time a driver spends on a trip – thus reducing their chances of getting incentives – but also reduces their earnings, because while the fare still remains the same, more fuel is used.

Drivers also do not pocket the ERP fees, and it’s unfair to expect them to absorb it as well.

And no, they aren’t actually interested in kidnapping anyone because that time would be better spent on achieving their targets. Besides, there are serious penalties to consider.

A pleasant ride is a win for both

After all, what’s the point of accusing the other party of cheating you of your money? The driver could refuse to complete the trip, while the passenger could alight and refuse to pay, so neither party stands to gain anything.

Worse, things could escalate and turn into a fighting match. And apart from becoming a joke to others, you might suffer some bruises and even get into trouble with the law – all over a simple matter that could be resolved easily enough by showing a little respect for one another.

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So, whether you’re a driver or passenger, remember that with a little graciousness and consideration for others, it’s not that difficult to embark on a pleasant, comfortable and happy ride together.