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Lyft drivers are independent contractors. This means they cannot wear a uniform and can set their hours. It also means they are responsible for their taxes, insurance, and maintenance. As a Lyft driver, your job is a lot of fun, and you get to meet new people and learn about their lives without making small talk with them. However, as a professional driver, there are things you need to keep in mind if you want to maintain your reputation for quality service. Here are ten mistakes that Lyft drivers make that can ruin the experience for both them and their riders:
1. Not Having rideshare insurance
Rideshare insurance is not the same as personal auto insurance, and it's essential to understand the difference. Lyft covers damage to your vehicle and injuries caused by you or your passengers. Still, if you don't have rideshare insurance from another provider, you are responsible for any costs associated with those accidents.
With Lyft, your auto coverage typically excludes rideshare trips unless you purchase an endorsement. This means that if something happens during one of these trips and you're involved in a collision or get hurt in another way, the other driver's insurance will pay for repairs or medical bills rather than yours. You should still carry liability coverage, as it protects others against injuries they might sustain while driving your car. Still, without rideshare insurance, any time they get into an accident while using, it counts towards their deductible instead of theirs!
2. Taking minors
You cannot transport minors in your car. If you do, you will get deactivated. You could also get into trouble with the police for aiding and abetting child sex trafficking. This doesn’t mean you should turn away any kids who need a ride home, but it does mean that there are some rules to follow when transporting minors.
Lyft's policy states that drivers may not transport anyone younger than 18 years old unless a parent or legal guardian accompanies them during the ride or if they have written permission from their parent or legal guardian. Drivers must also accept children under 13 years old if they're escorted by someone aged 18 or older who supervises them while traveling in the car.
3. Driving faster
You want to make money, but you also want to be safe. It’s a trade-off between making money fast and being safe. Driving faster means you can get to more riders and pick up more fares per hour, but it also means that if you get in an accident, your car could be totaled or even written off.
If you drive faster than the speed limit and get pulled over by police, they will almost always write you a ticket for speeding, which goes against Lyft’s rules they don’t allow drivers to break the law. If this happens too often, Lyft might deactivate your account!
4. Talking a lot on your cellphone
Stop talking on the phone. It's rude and disrespectful to your rider. If a person is in your car, it's common courtesy to shut off the phone, especially when driving. You can call them back or send them a text message when you get to their destination or stop for gas, but only try to make calls while operating the vehicle.
Don't text while driving, either! Texting is just as dangerous as talking on the phone since it takes concentration away from driving and can result in serious accidents that could hurt yourself or others around you.
5. Breaking traffic laws
Don't speed. In most states, speeding is a moving violation that can result in a fine and points on your driving record.
Don't drive aggressively. Aggressive driving includes tailgating, passing other vehicles when it is unsafe, or making erratic lane changes without signaling first. Any of these behaviors can lead to accidents and could result in serious injury or death for you or others around you.
6. Playing music too loud
You might think playing music is a good way to pass the time and keep your energy up, but you could make some serious mistakes. The loudness of your music can be a safety hazard if it's so loud that other passengers can't hear when they need to give instructions. It's also distracting; you want to ensure you get all essential directions and calls from Lyft because you're too busy jamming out! Finally, playing music too loud will annoy other passengers and lose you points. If your car is one of those cars where people feel like they're in a nightclub waiting for their ride, it may be time for an upgrade.
7. Not cleaning your car
You’ve probably noticed that Lyft drivers are required to have a very clean and tidy car. You might think it doesn’t matter if your car isn’t exactly in mint condition, but it does: many passengers will judge you based on your first impression of your vehicle.
If there is dirt inside or out, make sure you wipe it down before driving with passengers. This includes cleaning windows and mirrors and vacuuming seats and floors. It also means washing the outside of your car regularly so it looks good when parked at night or on weekends when no one is using it for ridesharing purposes.
If you have pets in your home with fur, make sure they don’t shed too much hair onto your upholstery so that those hairs don't get transferred onto anyone's clothes during a ride!
8. Driving with windows down
Driving with the windows down is one of the most common mistakes that Lyft drivers make. While it may seem like a good idea to let in some fresh air and enjoy the breeze, you should avoid doing this if possible. Wind noise can be distracting and increase your risks when driving, and it also increases the car's drag, reducing gas mileage and wasting money.
Additionally, having your windows down increases the risk of theft or injury from flying objects or debris. Lastly, it can make you look unprofessional to potential passengers if they see you have your window open while driving around town!
9. Not getting enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can be a serious problem for drivers, and it is often the cause of drowsiness, leading to road accidents. If you need more sleep at night, try to make up for it by taking short naps during your breaks.
10. Not taking enough breaks
It's essential to take breaks while driving, especially if you're new to the job. It can be easy to forget that you need rest when on the road, but doing so can lead to fatigue and even accidents. Pull over and take a break if you feel tired or like something isn't right with your ride.
If you feel hungry or like some fresh air would benefit your mind, get out of the car for a few minutes but don't forget about Lyft’s rules regarding passenger drop-offs.
Lyft drivers are the backbone of the rideshare industry. Without them, there would be no rideshare company to speak of. Even the best drivers with the most experience on the road are bound to commit a few minor or even major errors along the way. But to keep your passengers safe and reduce the chances of getting deactivated. Lyft drivers make more money in tips and have much more fun interacting with the people they pick up.