How to Be a Proper Uber Passenger

Before you hitch a ride in an Uber, make sure you're prepared to be a proper passenger.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #363

Along with changing the way people commute, Uber has also allowed normal, every day people (read: not professionals) to make a living as glorified chauffeurs. I say glorified because, unlike real taxi drivers, Uber drivers are more invested on their reputation, how their vehicle runs, and how it looks. Now, these are key points to remember when becoming passenger in an Uber, since unlike a standard taxi, these vehicles are someone’s personal property, which they paid for themselves.

So, before you party it up like it’s 1999 in the backseat of a Chevy Cavalier or treat someone’s Ford Explorer like your own personal frat house, check out my top three Quick and Dirty Tips for how to be an Uber passenger.

Tip #1: Not A License To Be Ill

In case you’ve never driven in a taxi before, here’s a quick heads up: they’re disgusting. I thought my high school football locker room was foul, but the average taxi cab rivals any locker room on its worse day. They smell, they’re stained, and the drivers seem to have a different view of what “safe driving” really means.  I’ve ridden in taxis that felt more like a roller coaster than a car, making it rather difficult to keep down my last meal. With that, if you happen to get sick in a taxi, all over a taxi for that matter, the driver may be a bit miffed, but it comes with the gig. He’ll just drive back to the station, have someone carelessly hose it down, and then it’s back on the road and “good as new.” However, with an Uber car, there’s a much deeper appreciation for the vehicle from the driver, since they actually own it. In fact, even if the car is a complete dump, which barely runs, it’s still someone’s property and the cleaning bill comes right out of that driver’s pocket.

Now, I understand some of you will argue, “Uber drivers know what they’re getting themselves into with random passengers… So if someone pukes all over the car, it is what it is.” That’s a gross theory … yet, I see your point. It’s a trivial point, but okay. Another huge benefit is when people book an Uber car instead of driving drunk. So, if the end result is either you get into an accident or someone gets ill in an Uber driver’s car, yes, the latter is preferable. However, and let’s be mature about this, if you know you’re going to get sick, or the previous actions before you booked the Uber car may lead to a possibility of being sick, have respect for the driver and let them know ahead of time. This goes for a taxi or Uber for that matter, but understand the personal appreciation for an Uber driver’s car and your role as the passenger. Don't be shy here, folks. The mannerly thing to do is to say something like, “I’m so sorry but I’m feeling really sick. I may ask you to pull over, so forgive me in advance.” Or if you feel pulling over isn’t an option, bring a plastic bag with you. Yes, that’s a nauseating thought, however, it’s proper to show respect for the person’s livelihood to whatever extent you can. And I promise you the driver will happily oblige you pulling over before or midway through your boot and rally.