Everyone at some time or another has encountered a taxi car and wondered, what in the world are they driving that way for? Well often times, many people assume that taxi drivers are driving erratically to get customers in and out of the car as quickly as possible. There however is a problem with that assumption, taxi drivers get their money from fares, the longer a customer is in the cab, the larger the fare, that being said, why do taxi drivers drive so defensively? The reason is more obvious than you might imagine.
Think for a moment about the day of a taxi driver, they spend day in and day out in a car driving up and down streets with other drivers that are just trying to get to one place or another. Taxi drivers are generally regarded by other drivers as a nuisance. That being said it becomes necessary for a taxi driver to adopt a somewhat defensive way of driving in order to deal with other drivers that may or may not want to let them in and out of traffic.
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These drivers have to spend every day essentially dealing with people that really do not want them to be on the road. In most cases, it is hard enough dealing with other drivers that are not making frequent stops, that are not listening to the customer in the back suggesting ways to get there faster, and that are not working to try and keep their customer happy.
Taxi drivers as a general rule know what side streets, main roads, and back ways are going to get their customer to their destination fastest and with the least amount of trouble. Keeping this in mind, it may be difficult to get in and out of traffic that is on a stayed path. Those that are commuting have a path that is tried and true, most people that are commuting or going about their day are not going to be moving in and out of traffic. A taxi however is not a typical driver making it completely necessary to move in and out of traffic and drive a bit more defensively than someone that is going to the grocery.
Taxi drivers as a general rule are going to be a bit more aggressive, a bit more defensive and a bit pushier with their driving for the simple fact that if they aren't their bottom line will suffer. It is necessary or taxi drivers to zip in and out of traffic, to push their way into line when other drivers do not want to let them, and need to stop and take off more than other drivers because that is the nature of the business and the nature of what they are doing.
Taxi drivers have a ton of competition these days as well, with new technology like Uber and Lyft. In the past, taxi drivers had to simply look for people that needed a ride. With apps like Uber and Lyft, taxi drivers now have to be available in different areas and they have to compete with apps like Uber and Lyft, which use crowd-sourced drivers to get from point a to b. There is a great deal of argument surrounding these applications because they take large amounts of customers away from taxi services. Instead of people that need rides having to look for a cab, they can instead use Uber or Lyft to look for other drivers that can share the cost.
Taxi drivers have to be more aggressive in their driving in order to make up the fares and be available in more locations so that people do not feel the need to use apps like Uber to find cars. Someone needing a ride is going to be far less likely to look for on one with the help of an app if a car is sitting right there ready to go. Taxi drivers therefore end up being more defensive, they drive faster, they weave in and out of traffic, and they may seem like crazy drivers because they are competing not only with other drivers and other taxis, but also with technology that anyone can pull up on their phone in a matter of seconds.
Traffic school is a wonderful option for anyone looking to deal with other defensive drivers. If you have received a moving traffic violation or you just want to get a great discount on your insurance you can take a course to learn about defensive driving and even get tickets and citations dismissed.