Traveling in a taxi through New York is an adventure. You hail the cab, jump into the backseat, and give the driver your destination. However, some people take taxis for granted; don’t be one of those people. Follow the rules of etiquette for taxi passengers to ensure a smooth ride for both you and your driver.

Wear a Seatbelt

Seatbelts provide safety in the event of an accident. Furthermore, not wearing a seatbelt is against the law in many jurisdictions. According to Diamond Injury Law, seat belt laws are strictly enforced in New York and can cost the driver and the offending passenger a ticket. It’s better to play it safe and just buckle up when you get into a taxi.

Don’t Be a Distraction

If you’ve ever driven a car in a busy city, especially in New York, then you know how important it is to focus on what’s happening around you. Traveling in a taxi is no different. You’re entrusting your life to a stranger while they take you to your destination. It’s best to not cause a distraction to the driver. Polite small talk is fine during the cab ride should the driver be receptive. However, you should never argue or insult your driver. Quiet phone conversations are acceptable, but engaging in loud chatter should be avoided. You should keep public affection to a minimum as well. Anything you do in the backseat could be considered distracting, so don’t make your driver have to focus on you instead of the cars ahead.

Tip Your Driver

Customer service positions, like cab driving, are extremely focused on helping the clientele. Cab drivers provide you a convenient service in exchange for money. Passengers may never truly see the accommodations drivers make in order to make their ride comfortable. Think about how much time they’ve saved you by pulling up and driving you to where you wanted to go. According to Free Tours by Foot, it’s both ethically and morally appropriate to tip your cab driver. Even if you feel they have reduced the potential for a full standard 15 percent tip rate, you should still give them something for their time. Taxi drivers depend on those tips to provide for their families and make a living.

Be Respectful of Your Driver

Taxi drivers often spend hours upon hours picking up strangers and driving them around. Sure, that’s their job, but it certainly isn’t an easy position to take. Many passengers enter the car with an attitude of superiority, and that’s an awful way to treat another human. You should always be respectful to your cab driver. Keep in mind that the driver chose to stop for you. Small tokens of respect can make all the difference in your ride. Practice giving common courtesies, such as greeting the driver or thanking them for their time as you exit. Your attitude toward the driver is just as important as his attitude towards you, and it costs nothing to be a nice person.

Getting around New York might seem like a daunting task, and taxi drivers greatly help residents and visitors alike. As with anything else in life, there is a proper way to conduct yourself while riding in a taxicab. Enjoy the adventure of riding in an NYC taxi while minding the rules of the taxicab world.

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