In Case Of Vomiting: How To Avoid And What To Do If It Happens

Alright, one of the most disgusting things that can happen to you as a driver, is if a passenger vomits in your car.  Although, some drivers have turned it into a money making opportunity!  But, our purpose here is not to promote that kind of bad idea!

Vomiting is a reality for most drivers.  If you drive long enough, it’s bound to happen eventually.  Unless… unless you follow our tips.

What Is the Best Way to Avoid Vomiting Drunks?

There are several things you can do to minimize the chances that this will ever happen to you.  But, if you drive long enough, it probably will happen eventually.

The most sure fire way to avoid it is to simply not drive the late night bar scene.  And we put the emphasis on “late night” there.  Because you can fairly safely drive the early evening bar scene and never have a problem.  It is not usually until very late at night, or early in the morning, that people get so drunk that they just can’t hold it in.  Most drivers do not normally have problems early in the evenings.

Now, “late night” is different times in different cities, so we can’t tell you the exact hours of “late night” where you live.  In fact, it’s not that specifically defined anyway.  Late night might start at one time on one night and another time a week later.  But generally speaking it’s around 2:00 a.m.

Anyway, you can usually know when it’s getting to be about that time just by watching people coming out of the bars.  If they’re stumbling, shouting, acting generally stupid… you know it’s about that time!

Unfortunately, not driving the late night bar scene, also necessarily means not driving late nights at all.  Because late nights will include some bar business no matter what you do.  And you may be unwilling to forego those hours.  It might be too costly for you to give them up altogether.  Or, it may be the only realistic time you can drive.

So, in the case of drivers who have to drive late nights, we have some suggestions for best improving your chances of avoiding vomiting drunks.

If I Have to Drive Late Nights, How Can I Best Avoid Vomiting Drunks?

There are a few things you can do to minimize your chances of having an inebriated passenger throw up in your car.  One of the best suggestions Sam makes in this video is when you’re driving the late night bar scene and you get a ping from a bar, text or call the passenger before you arrive.

Just tell them you wanted to check exactly where they’d be so you can find them easily.  But, listen to how they respond.  If they’re slurring their words… cancel the call!  If they’re not making sense… cancel the call.  If they don’t sound like they even know where they are and they can’t give you any idea where to pick them up, cancel the call!

If you get any kind of weird feeling while talking to them – then chances are, they’re too drunk to handle their liquor and they’re a good candidate for barfing in your car.  If that’s what you want to avoid – then just cancel the call and drive on.  Just press Cancel and then “Don’t Charge Passenger”.  You don’t want to charge them anything for these cancellations, you just want to avoid having a nasty mess (and odor) from spoiling your car.

If they seem okay when you call them then proceed with your pickup.  But keep your eyes and ears open.  If they stumble out of the bar or if they stumble out and there are people who are holding them up – RUN!  Just cancel the trip and run.

Sure, it doesn’t do you any favors on your cancellation rate, but we believe it’s worth the trade off.

What Happens if an Uber Passenger Throws Up in My Car?

If a passenger does eventually throw up in your car, there are several things you need to do because Uber and Lyft will both pay you a fee to help compensate for your trouble.  In the early days of Uber and Lyft that fee was a very generous flat fee of $250.

But today, the two companies are no longer that generous.  Today you’re lucky to get $50 out of them.  And if you do put in a claim for cleaning, they’ll often now ask to see a receipt.

In the early days there were drivers who decided this was a great way to make money.  So they would buy all the cleaning equipment needed to thoroughly and effectively clean vomit out of cars and if someone did throw up in their car, they’d simply clean it themselves and put in a claim to Uber or Lyft for the cleaning expenses.  Uber and Lyft would then reliably send them $250.

The problem with that idea, even back then, was you know you’re never going to fully get rid of the odor, if you drive around every weekend looking for these kinds of passengers!  So eventually it’s going to really stink up your car.  Another problem was that even if you could fully get rid of the odor each time, you would still be out of work for the rest of that night and possibly all the next day too as you wait for the car to fully dry and the odor to be fully removed.  So, it could end up costing you more than the $250 you gained, in lost working time and trips.

Today, seeking out these kinds of trips makes no sense at all in light of the fact that you’re not likely to get anything more than $50.  So, if it wasn’t really worth it at $250 it’s definitely not worth it for $50!

Precautions Against Vomiting

If after doing everything in your power to avoid picking up the drunkest of the drunk, you still get someone in your car who’s going to vomit – the best protection is to have vomit bags.  They’ll usually give you some warning if they think they’re going to barf.  Or you’ll hear them groaning and making all kinds of unpleasant noises!  Just ask and hand them the bag if you suspect they’re about to barf and let them do it in the bag.

We also recommend pulling over and stopping the car if you can.  If you find yourself in this situation without any bag, roll their window down for them and ask them to try to do it out the window.


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Video Transcription:

Okay, one of the most common questions I get as a driver is, “What do you do about vomit?” Well, you do a lot of things. Hopefully, you clean it.

Vomiting is something that is a reality if you drive at bar close, okay? There’s always gonna be someone who just went too hard and they can’t hold their liquor and they’re going to vomit. Now, here’s the deal. You can avoid it multiple ways.

One, as you’re driving up and you’re on phone with your passenger and that’s one recommendation. You text or you call your passenger ahead of time [and] you can kind of get a feel, are they crazy?

I mean, if people are holding them up and like pointing them towards you and they’re like…cancel that, bad boy. Take that hit on the cancellation rate and drive off.

So here’s the deal. If they throw up in your car you can take…you need to take pictures of it and then send it to Lyft or Uber. And they will accredit you up to $250, $250 big ones, and they will charge that passenger.

However, you don’t want that. Okay. You don’t want smelly vomit in your car or other people have peed or pooped in other people’s cars. I’ve never experienced any of those. Okay.

So I’m really grateful for that and I’m not looking forward to it even though that would be probably a fun, not fun, and interesting experience. Because think about this. If they vomit in your car you are now done for the night.

If it’s Saturday night you’re not going to find a detailer on Sunday. You’re done for another day.

They are effectively taking your income source out. Now, I know some passengers…drivers who drive bar close all the time and that’s like their thing and they have the whole kit on their back.

That’s something you can get. You know, they have like heavy duty pet cleaner and they’ll just buff it out real quick, and they’ll collect that money and then, bam, they make money from it.

Okay. Now, if you want to do that, hey, all power to you, but for most of us, avoid vomit. And so what some people do is they buy medical vomit bags and they have them in the back and they’ll hand them to them.

I had this trash bag that…it’s a trash can that’s waterproof, and I’ll hand it to them if they’re their kind of tipsy and they look like they’re gonna hurl.

So vomit is something that you may experience. I haven’t experienced it but it’s something important for you to know how to manage.



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