After almost 6 years of driving rideshare, about 3 of those years full-time, I’ve become an expert on passenger behavior. Now that I’m retired, I’m free to share my observations.
Generally speaking, rideshare drivers appreciate it when passengers are gentle with doors. Newer cars, which we are usually required to use for this service, require only the gentlest push to close the doors; anything more than that can easily be considered “slamming.”
What’s the harm in slamming? Firstly, the weather-strips take a beating. I had to replace the weather-strip on the right rear door twice – at $70 a pop. Secondly, in some model cars, the seatbelt doesn’t consistently retract, and slamming the door means that there will be indentations where the seatbelt is crushed against the door. Thirdly, slamming can be loud, and it can be annoying having to hear it dozens of times a day. Fourthly, the sensor can get damaged. This was the case in my most recent (rental) car; the “door open” alarm would sound randomly, and the rear right door would have to be opened and closed again.
Not all demographics behave equally when it comes to door-slamming. Here’s what I’ve noticed:
Latinos are, by far, the most respectful toward our cars. As a rule, they’re gentle with the doors. This only applies to Latinos who were born outside the United States. Those who were born in the United States behave the same as other Americans. That is to say, they can go either way.
Women are much worse than men. While travelling, I had an Uber driver bring this up to me, and I’m sure many other rideshare drivers have noticed this phenomenon.
East Asians are slightly worse than Whites, and blacks are slightly better than Whites. I think this latter observation might only apply to the Portland area and similar areas. I say this because the native blacks of Portland seem to be more friendly overall. Sadly, I’ve seen this change recently as more East Coast blacks move in. Many of my most pleasant passengers have been black women.
Any group of 3 or 4 (4 being the maximum for most cars) passengers is going to slam the doors. I don’t know how such a group of Latinos would behave, as I’ve never had one – but if you see such a group (non-Latino) about to get into your car, you’re about to get slammed, almost guaranteed. If it’s a group of women, then God help you.
I’m not going to share my theories in this post. If you do have a theory, share it in comments.