Have you just travelled into the country and need to use a taxi for transportation? Below are some handy safety tips that you should keep in mind during your use of taxis in a new place.
Call for One
It may be safer for you to call a taxi dispatcher instead of standing on the street to hail an unoccupied taxi. Calling for a taxi allows you to ask for important details, such as the number of the taxi and the name of the driver, which can be helpful in case you forget something in the taxi. Calling for a taxi also gives you the peace of mind that a legitimate taxi will be sent to pick you up.
Observe the Taxi
Take a quick look into the taxi to check for the things that are normal in taxis. These include a meter, a driver ID card and a radio through which dispatchers communicate with the driver. Only enter the taxi after seeing these items. This will save you from any issues that could arise in case you use an unlicensed taxi.
Keep Windows Closed
It is also a good idea to close the windows while you are in a taxi. This precaution is necessary because you may not know the safe and unsafe sections of the city where you will be travelling. Open windows can give opportunistic thieves a chance to snatch something valuable from you when the taxi is moving in slow traffic or when it is at a stop sign.
Study the Currency
Make sure that you examine the currency notes closely before you pay your fare. This is necessary because some first-time visitors to a country may not easily tell one currency note from another. Knowing the different notes will also help you to decide the tip that you should give the driver in case you feel inclined to do so.
Watch Your Valuables
Avoid leaving any valuable item, such as your laptop, in plain sight. Place them in a bag and keep that bag close to you. This will prevent you from forgetting those items in the taxi when you reach your destination. You will also attract less interest from any thieves who may be watching for an easy target.
The safety precautions that you need may not differ significantly from the precautions which you would take if you were using a taxi in your own country. Always ask for help from the authorities or someone you know so that you don't take an unnecessary risk.