On the Road with Roadie: Tips for Driving Safely
At Roadie, the safety of our driver community is our top priority. We know you deal with a lot out there on the road, so we’ve compiled some helpful tips for driving carefully.
Be sure to always wear your seatbelt and never hold your phone while driving (hands-free operation is fine). We’ve designed our app to automatically know if you’ve arrived at pickup or delivery, and any other steps can and should be taken when the car is parked.
Everyone knows to hold the steering wheel at 9 and 3 o’clock (or 8 and 4 o’clock), but did you know that gripping the outside of the steering wheel actually can reduce your chances of getting injured if your airbag deploys?
One of your best tools in avoiding car accidents is your turn signal. According to the California Driver Handbook, you should use your signal:
- During the last 100 feet before reaching the turning point (left or right turn).
- Before every lane change. Check your mirrors, look over your shoulder, and check your blind spot before changing lanes.
- At least 5 seconds before you change lanes on a freeway.
- Before pulling next to the curb or away from the curb.
- When you change directions.
- Even when you do not see other vehicles. A vehicle you do not see may suddenly appear and hit you.
- If you plan to turn beyond an intersection, start signaling when you are in the intersection. If you signal too early, the other driver may think you plan to turn into the intersection and they may pull out in front of you. Remember to cancel your signal after turning.
Your headlights are also helpful tools – use your headlights any time you use your windshield wipers, any time you have problems seeing other cars, in darkness or low visibility, 30 minutes after sunset or 30 minutes before sunrise, and on small or winding roads.
As much as you do to keep yourself safe, it’s impossible to control how other drivers act on the road. That’s where the horn comes in handy. According to the California Driver Handbook, you should only use your horn when necessary to avoid collisions:
- To try to get “eye contact” with other drivers. You may tap your horn to alert another driver who might turn in front of you and cause a collision.
- On narrow mountain roads, where you cannot see at least 200 feet ahead of your vehicle.
Remember, don’t use your horn to make someone go faster or get out of the way, or to alert a driver that they’ve made a mistake – it can startle other drivers, putting everyone at risk for an unwanted collision or confrontation.
If you need to stop your car unexpectedly due to mechanical issues, the California Driver Handbook recommends you start breaking early and turn your emergency signals on to alert all the cars around you while you:
- Pull off the road away from all traffic, if possible.
- If you cannot get completely off the road, stop where people can see you and your vehicle from behind. Do not stop just over a hill or just around a curve.
- Turn on your emergency flashers if you are not moving. If your vehicle doesn’t have emergency flashers, turn signals may be used instead.
- If it is safe, lift the hood to signal an emergency.
- Give other drivers plenty of warning. Place emergency flares or triangles 200–300 feet behind the vehicle. This allows other drivers time to change lanes, if necessary. Be very careful when using flares. They may cause fires, especially when used near flammable liquids.
- If you do not have emergency flares, follow the rules listed above and stay in your vehicle with the doors locked until help arrives. Be careful for your safety and stay off the road.
Avoiding Traffic Incidents
Actions you take can increase the likelihood of collisions, including excessive speed, distractions, aggression and driving under the influence. We encourage all drivers in the Roadie community to drive cautiously and pay attention to posted speed limits.
Any unlawful conduct or behavior that an independent Roadie driver engages in while providing services on the platform will be deemed a breach of contract and may result in termination of your Driver Agreement.
It can be dangerous to leave your vehicle running while you pick up or deliver a Gig. Always turn your vehicle off before exiting, and keep an eye out for passing other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians when you open your door.
While most Roadie Gigs require you to park in a parking space, some require you to park curbside. Ensure your vehicle is within 18 inches of the curb and be sure to pay attention to the color of the curb. The handbook lists these special parking rules for each color:
- White–Stop only long enough to pick up or drop off passengers or mail.
- Green–Park for a limited time. Look for a posted sign next to the green zone for time limits, or locate the time limit painted on the curb.
- Yellow–Stop no longer than the time posted to load or unload passengers or freight. Drivers of noncommercial vehicles are usually required to stay with the vehicle.
- Red–No stopping, standing, or parking (buses may stop at a red zone marked for buses).
- Blue–Parking is permitted only for a disabled person or driver of a disabled person who displays a placard or special license plate for disabled persons or disabled veterans. A crosshatched (diagonal lines) area adjacent to a designated disabled parking space is a no parking area.
If you need to park on a hill, be mindful of what could happen if your brakes fail. If you’re headed downhill, turn the wheels toward the curb; if you’re headed uphill, turn the wheels away from the curb.
The California Driver Handbook states that you should never park or leave your vehicle:
- Where a “No Parking” sign is posted.
- On a marked or unmarked crosswalk, sidewalk, partially blocking a sidewalk, or in front of a driveway.
- Within 3 feet of a sidewalk ramp for disabled persons or in front of or on a curb that provides wheelchair access to a sidewalk.
- In a disabled person parking space, unless you are disabled and display a placard or disabled person license plates.
- In the space next to a disabled person parking space, if it is painted in a crosshatched (diagonal) pattern (CVC §22507.8(c)(2)).
- In a space designated for parking or fueling zero emission vehicles that display an identifying decal, unless you are driving a zero emission vehicle that you will charge in the space.
- In a tunnel or on a bridge, except where permitted by signs.
- Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant or a fire station driveway.
- On or within 7½ feet of a railroad track.
- Between a safety zone and the curb.
- “Double parked.” (Parking in the street when all legal parking places at the curb are taken.)
- On the wrong side of the street.
- At a red curb.
- On a freeway, except:
- In an emergency.
- When a peace officer or device requires a stop.
- Where a stop is specifically permitted.
For more information on how to drive safely, and to review the rules of the road, visit your local DMV website.