Working as a taxi driver allows you a certain amount of freedom, but one thing you have no say over is the weather. Come rain or shine you need to be on the road, ferrying passengers from A to B easily and efficiently. When the heavens decide to open, you still have to carry on, unless the weather gets so perilous that you have no other option than to stop.
Unfortunately, wet weather can lead to an increase risk of accidents on the road, especially with drivers who haven’t properly maintained their vehicle to cope with a downpour. Worn tyres are normally the culprit, leading to unsafe driving, skidding and aquaplaning.
As a taxi driver the last thing you need is an accident in wet weather, not only for the inconvenience, but also as it can force your taxi insurance premiums to skyrocket. Stay safe in wet weather, and follow our handy tips below.
More often than not it’s easy to predict the weather by checking the local forecast. This will give you an early indication if you are in for a wet shift or a dry shift. But during the months of winter and spring (December to June) the likelihood of wet weather is greatly increased.
Once you know that it will be wet weather during your shift, you can plan ahead by avoiding routes that have a greater chance of flooding. Make sure your sat nav is fully charged and operational so you can find alternative routes quickly and easily.
Perform the necessary checks
Looking after your vehicle is part and parcel of being a driver, but as a taxi driver it’s even more important. It can be the difference between making money and losing money because you have to take the car in for repairs.
Therefore it’s vital that you perform regular checks on your car, especially when you know the weather is about to take a turn for the worse.
Wipers – it sounds obvious, but if you have worn out or faulty wiper blades when it’s pouring down, the likelihood is you won’t be able to drive. Use them frequently and check them before setting out on a wet shift.
Tyres – as mentioned above, worn out tyres can be especially hazardous in wet weather, leading to aquaplaning on flooded roadways that can leave you in a nasty crash. Check the tyre tread and tyre pressure before setting out and if it’s too worn or low, take it in to your local garage.
Lights – in particularly heavy rain your lights are vital for remaining visible. Double check your headlights, brake lights and indicators are working before setting out
Brakes – in flooded areas your brakes pads and ABS system can be affected by rain, to the point where they aren’t as reactive. When driving through puddles or flooded points on the road, always check your brakes afterwards. If they are less sensitive than before, take your car into the local garage
Safety on the Roads
Even if you have planned ahead and your car has had necessary checks, that doesn’t mean that accidents still can’t happen on the road. It’s better to take extra precautions when driving to ensure you are less likely to get caught up in an accident that isn’t even your fault.
Increase Braking distance – it comes down to common sense, but make sure you brake a little earlier when coming to a complete stop in wet weather
Reduce your speed – it might be tempting to carry on driving as if it were dry conditions, but high speeds and wet roads are more likely to result in an accident
Give yourself more room – it’s no good driving too close to the vehicle in front of you at the best of times, never mind in wet weather. Driving too close can easily cause an accident if the driver in front slams on, so give yourself extra room and drop back if someone is driving slower
Remember: if you have an accident due to wet weather you might lose money waiting for your vehicle to be repaired, and it will force your taxi insurance premiums to go up. Stay safe and plan ahead.