NYC Taxi Drivers Tips

Street Smart NYC Taxi Tips. These practical tips come from years of being behind the wheels of a NYC yellow taxi cab. Youth and exuberance may be fashionable but old age and experience gets the job done.

Here is the most important thing to keep in mind:

You Always Want To Go Home!

Your significant others, the people who love you, may have funny ways of showing & expressing it, but do want you to come back home. It does not matter if you live in a McMansion, studio apartment or urban outhouse. Even if they want to just express their unhappiness about why you are never home.


A yellow taxi cab driver’s awareness is mission critical.

The streets of NYC are filled to capacity with persons walking, on bicycles or driving motor vehicles. Like the weather, things are in a constant state of motion & emotion, Wires coming out of the ears and/or staring down at their I-Thingys. Folks are disconnected from their surroundings. Back in the day, children were taught to look both ways before crossing a street. In these modern times, this is not what happens. Everyone is self-important, self-possessed and self-involved.

Here is the thing, you do not want to find yourself talking to anyone in the emergency services business, in a professional capacity. This includes cops, firefighters or ambulance drivers.

This will put a crimp in your ability to pay your bills and get home. 


Why Safety is important.

Picture this, you and/or your relatives come from an amazingly authoritarian corrupt place.

Economic and social mobility up the ladder is in short supply.

Life tends to be short, nasty and brutish. Everyone comes to the United States of America in general and New York City in particular for this reason.

This is not a new story.  What does this all have to do with safety?

The rules of the road, no matter where you find yourself, all happen to be suggestions. Until you do something very bad, very stupid or both. You then end up having conversations with people you do not want. Trust me, it is better to talk to your relatives about the birds and bees, then those guys.

Drivers Education

The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (The TLC) mandates a 6 hour driver education or re-education course.

Which in the past, consists of watching some very old VHS tapes from the 1980’s.

In your humble driver’s estimation, driving the mean streets is like providing oral sex for pay.

A dirty job. Which someone needs to perform.

Let’s be clear. No one can “teach” you anything. You have to want to learn. This being said nothing can and will prepare you as a NYC Taxi Cab driver for what you will experience. There will be moments of pure bliss. There will be other times when you will feel your soul being ripped apart. It happens daily. Every day is another existential crisis. How am I going to make the lease money? Who am I? Why didn’t I listen to what my mother told me? Where am I going? When can I go home?

You get the picture.

Consider yourself lightly. Consider the world deeply.

You can only control your reactions to the insanity that manifests around you. You will be the object of others stupidity. It makes perfect sense to the skateboarder or bicycle rider to put themselves directly in front of the path of a moving taxi after disobeying traffic laws.

Hey man, it is the 21st century.

The world neither makes the majority of us sense or enough dollars.

Reaction Time

Let’s do reaction time.

To make the unexplainable explainable let me explain.

It takes time to go from perceiving something to the time you can react to it.

Got it. Get it. Good.

Let us shuck down to the corn cob. Here is the deal. This is a 4 step process.

First you get the sensation through your eyes or ears.

Then you perceive or recognize it.

A situational awareness comes to you. Then you react.

Now for the bad news.

If you are distracted by your mobile phone, really bad sh*t happens.

Which means you always need to be paying attention to your surroundings.

This ain’t rocket science. It is more complicated. Remember when you are behind the wheel of an automobile, it is game on! You can always play Angry Birds or Candy Crush after you go home.

Just a word to the wise -