Driving during the night is common among rideshare drivers, with many even preferring to do so as the roads are less busy, and there’s an opportunity to earn more with fewer Uber drivers on the roads at this time. However, driving throughout the night does come with different risks to those you might expect when driving during the day. There are many ways to be safe when driving Uber at night and prevent accidents.  

Here are some safety tips to consider when driving for Uber at night.   

Put your defensive driving instinct on high alert 

Accidents are three times more likely to happen at night due to the lack of visibility and shorter reaction times. That’s why your driving senses should also be at least three times heightened: 

  • Keep a safe distance from the other vehicles – following the car in front of you is never a good idea, even more so at night. Leaving extra room protects you against sudden manoeuvres and improves your visibility 
  • Slow down – sometimes, the enforced speed limit is not the same as the safe driving speed. Reduce the speed whenever needed, no rush is more important than safety 
  • Watch out for pedestrians or cyclists – during the darkness of the night, they’re harder to spot, so make sure to have all eyes on the road 

Don’t get behind the wheel when tired 

When you have a job so dynamic as Uber driving, it’s crucial to stay as focused and fresh as possible: 

  • Take regular breaks and leave the car for a stretch and a breath of fresh air 
  • Make conversation with your riders or turn the radio on for a lively atmosphere 
  • Roll down the windows to adjust the inside temperature 
  • Stop for a rest break or even grab a cup of coffee 

Most important: Know when to call it a day (or night), go home and get the rest you need.

You can work extra the next day to compensate for these hours but remember that nothing is worth the risk of driving when tired. 

Use your lights correctly 

One of the key aspects of staying safe on the road during the night is regularly testing all your lights, including low beams, high beams, daytime running lights, indicators and brake lights. Not only is it illegal to drive at night without properly functioning front and rear lights, but it’s also important for the safety of you, your passengers and other road users.  

While keeping your eyes on the road is mandatory, avoid staring directly into other cars’ lights so you don’t get blinded. Look to the left-hand side of the road and follow the white line marking the edge to keep track of your position. If the light is so powerful that you can’t see anything, slow down but avoid stopping suddenly.  

Pay attention to who you’re picking up 

As passengers can rate their Uber drivers, it goes both ways. When driving at night, pay attention to your passenger’s rating and think twice before accepting the ride: 

  • A passenger with a rating between 1 and 3 should give you some warning signs. Go with your intuition. If something feels off, don’t accept the ride 
  • Don’t hesitate to cancel a ride if you feel unsafe when arriving at the pick-up location. Although your passenger’s profile didn’t raise any flags, you might encounter intoxicated, rude or intrusive passengers. Just cancel the ride, lock your car doors, and head to a safer place 

Set boundaries and rules 

It’s essential to set clear boundaries with your passengers the moment they step foot inside your car. This could look like:

  • Asking them to sit in the back seat and buckle their seatbelt 
  • Inform your passengers that smoking and consuming alcohol isn’t permitted in your car, being even illegal in some states, like QLD, WA and ACT
  • Make it clear that abusive behaviour isn’t tolerated throughout the ride 

Many Uber drivers install a dash cam inside their car, allowing the recording of video and audio of passengers in real-time during their rides. Having a dash cam installed can help you in multiple ways. For example, it can work as a protection shield against riders with harmful intentions, or you can use it to provide evidence of abuse or threatening behaviour.  

If you’re a Splend customer, you’ll need to let your local Hub know before installing a dash cam. 

About Splend

We enable people to make money by driving for on-demand apps such as Uber.

We’re more than a car subscription provider. In addition to new-model cars and all the essentials to start earning money with Uber as quickly as possible, our customers enjoy driver training and dedicated support, as well as customer benefits such as partner discounts and exclusive events.

For more information about Splend, make an appointment and drop by to your local Splend Hub, email us, or say hello on 1800 775 363.