One of the biggest issues a ride-share driver has to deal with is drunk, drugged or dangerous passengers. They usually occur at night-time or after parties and sports events. They are a part of the natural phenomenon that occurs daily, and unfortunately, drivers have to handle them too.
Let’s look at an example of what you might have to deal with.
It’s past midnight; you get a request to pick up passengers from a known watering hole. A five-star client sent the request, so it’s got to be a good ride. When you arrive, you see three guys, the one in the middle has already puked on himself while the two others hold him up. You know this is before the surge, so you can complete the trip and get back quickly for more, but you will have to ask the question “While he pukes again?” You already know the answer.
There are two options in front of you, accept their reply or deal with the situation by careful planning. If you decide to risk it, you will take them as they are, all three will crawl into the back of the car, the middle guy will pass out while the other two fade in and out of clarity. When you finally reach your destination, two will climb out but passed out guy will puke all over your car, which means you didn’t plan properly.
Greet them Personally
The second option is; you arrive on the scene and get out, meet the client with a handshake and gauge the situation.By getting out, you make their trip a personalized service, which is always a good idea. Usually, the drunk and weary don’t realize you are in front of them until you speak loudly, they then realize this is a serious and high-quality gig and through their alcohol haze show a bit more respect. By getting out and watching each passenger, you can gauge which one will be a problem. Make sure you always maintain a respectful demeanor and speak with a difference, they might be drunk, but they are still your customers.
Control the Situation
Don’t let them control the situation; you are in charge. If there are too many passengers to seat in the car, refuse to take more than is legal. Explain that you will not break the law, and explain that there are lots of cops around. If the client and the accompanying people are problematic, unruly and rude before they get in the car, take a snapshot and cancel the ride as a no-show. You should explain to them that you have canceled the ride since they are endangering the ride itself. It’s better to endanger your rating than your life.
If the clients are only drunk and not “violent” or a possible threat, then help them enter the car. For the “puke” guy, you want to prepare accordingly, so have an emesis bag ready, have three, one for each. The fact that the other two haven’t thrown up doesn’t mean they won’t throw up during the ride. Also, put a blanket or towel on the seat before they sit. Cleaning up vomit and getting rid of the smell is easier that way.
Make sure your car is spotless. When people enter a fresh and clean car it does two things, it makes them feel cleaner with their surroundings, and it also helps to pass on the message that you don’t want passengers dirtying the car. Once you seat them and them ready, you then ask them to buckle up; it’s imperative that you never forget to tell your passengers to put on seatbelts.
Since you are a ride-share driver you will have a dash cam, turn it on, if you are new, buy a dash cam before you start working. Dashcams are an important tool of the trade; it is perfect for insurance but even better for recording inside the car activities with possible problem clients.
Unstable or Drugged
When a passenger or group of passengers are all locked in tight, and you start to drive, you suddenly realize that one or some of them are on drugs too. The best way to deal with them is to engage them in a discussion asking them questions that will get them to open up and talk more about their lives and problems. The trick is to keep them involved in the conversation, follow the flow of their language, which means you will need to redirect their conversation if they start to act in an unstable fashion. You can do this by making a joke or directing them to look at something you see or by asking a directional question.
NLP/EQ or Bartender Psychology
On many occasions, they just want to talk to someone, so its time to sit back and ask them questions about their problems, have them talk about them in detail and nod and answer sympathetically.Sometimes clients are getting drunk or taking drugs because they are in a rough patch in their lives, so being understanding will help them relax and help you get them home safely. Many times its just good to listen to them ramble on, many people tend to relax when talking about their life problems to a total stranger.
What you Don’t do
You do not escalate the situation. You do not verbally abuse them. You do not shout at them, and you do not touch them. Remember, they are under the influence of a mind-changing substance, alcohol, and drugs affect the brain, you are not dealing with a rational person.
If your customer is dangerous, you need to solve the situation fast. Defusing the problem is best done by a professional and cops are professionally trained for dealing with just this kind of situation. So, if you do feel that there is a situation arising, dial 911 immediately and give them a location to meet.
Finally, have pepper spray or a taser in case you need to defend yourself. Even if you are deactivated for life by Uber, its worth it if you are still alive and uninjured.Just remember that pepper spraying in your car is not a good idea.