The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how virtually everyone goes through their workday. Employers have gone to great lengths to protect their workforces, and employees have become very conscientious about what they can do to stay safe. Rideshare and taxi drivers face a unique set of challenges in responding to the pandemic. They cannot avoid being in close proximity to the general public, and they cannot stay six feet apart from people. Rideshare drivers are understandably concerned about their risk of exposure to a highly transmissible airborne virus within an enclosed space. Here are some key questions and considerations about what taxi and rideshare drivers can do to reduce their risk of being exposed to the virus.

Why Are Masks So Important?

There is strong consensus within the medical community about the efficacy of masks in protecting people from the virus. Wearing a mask at all times is one of the most important things that a taxi driver can do to stay safe. Also, it is essential that drivers require passengers to wear masks. Drivers should not admit a passenger into a vehicle until he or she puts a mask on. In other words, the doors should remain locked until a driver sees that a passenger is wearing a mask.

How Can Taxi Drivers Protect Themselves From Passengers by Using Dividers?

Even when a taxi driver or rideshare driver wears a mask and enforces a mask policy for passengers, there is still some possibility of breathing in the virus. Unfortunately, some people do not wear their masks correctly, and a poor fit could compromise a mask’s efficacy. Putting up a plastic divider is a good way to create another barrier of protection. A driver can purchase a prefabricated divider or tape a plastic sheet between the front and back seats.

How Can Taxi Drivers Limit Occupancy?

Passengers may expect a taxi driver to accommodate as many people as will fit in his or her vehicle. However, full occupancy could heighten the risk of taxi driver health problems related to lack of distancing. Drivers should not allow passengers to sit in the front seat of a vehicle. Drivers should also refrain from offering a “pool” service or admitting passengers who are not riding together as a means of limiting occupancy. This practice protects not only drivers, but also their passengers. Ultimately, some simple but effective preventative measures can go a long way in helping rideshare and taxi drivers to stay healthy. Drivers can make their working environment much safer by wearing masks, requiring passengers to wear masks, using a plastic divider, and limiting occupancy. In addition to helping drivers protect their health, these precautions also help drivers safeguard their operations by making passengers feel reassured about the safety of using a taxi or rideshare service.

About American Risk Management, Inc.

American Risk Management, Inc. (ARM), along with its predecessor entities, has provided public auto business owners with coverage for their vehicles and operations since 1938. We provide coverage to taxis, sedans, limousines, ride-sharing vehicles, sightseeing tours, courtesy shuttles, school shuttles, last-mile delivery, and couriers across the Washington, D.C. metro area. Our expertise and experience in the commercial transportation industry allow us to provide our clients solutions that fit their unique risk profiles. To learn more about what we can offer you, call us today at (202) 547-8700.