Utilizing Weather to Your Advantage
Weather can be your best friend as a rideshare driver… bad weather that is! Long time drivers have come to see bad weather as a great blessing!
Bad weather dramatically increases demand because people just don’t want to get out in it. Even people with their own cars may not want to drive in it, so they’ll reach out and call an Uber or a Lyft.
Weather is one of the key factors that long time veteran drivers pay attention to. They pay attention to the busy times, they pay attention to surges and they pay attention to weather.
What Kind of Bad Weather is Best?
Not all bad weather is created equally when it comes to rideshare driving! For instance, a thunderstorm at 2:00 in the afternoon in the downtown business district probably isn’t going to result in too much more demand. That’s because very few people are taking Ubers or Lyfts at that time anyway. Most people are at work, safely ensconced inside their weather protected office buildings!
So, timing is one of the factors you have to look at. Maybe a giant storm comes through at 3:00 in the morning. That’s not going to be much help to you either – unless the late night bar crowd is still out at that time.
What you want to see in weather is weather that’s:
- Unusual for your area; and
- Occurs at a time that’s already busy for drivers
Any other kind of bad weather isn’t going to be much of a help to you. If you get bad weather, but it’s very common to your area and it occurs at a time when most people expect it – that’s not going to help much. Because people have already factored that in to their daily plans.
But, if you get bad weather that’s common for your area and it happens to occur at a different time than usual – that could be good for you. That could mean significantly more trips.
Likewise, if you get any kind of weather that’s unusual for your area – as long as it happens during busy times – that’s going to help you. Anything that’s unexpected in weather will help you.
The timing of this bad weather is important. And it’s not until you start to care about this that you’ll start noticing how often storms come at the wrong times! For instance, so many times around here, we’ll have stormy weather in the middle of the night. And it lets up just before people start heading out to work! It’s amazingly frustrating for drivers! But it happens all the time.
I used to joke that before I became a rideshare driver – I had no control over the weather. But now I feel like I totally control it – because it seems to clear up just at the moment I want it to get stormy!
In the end, what you really want to see is bad weather that takes a city totally by surprise. And you want to see it at a time when people need to get out and about.
Bad weather that’s a surprise is key. That’s because if it’s not a big surprise most people will have already changed their plans to accommodate it.
For instance, in New York this past winter – we had some snowstorms that were forecast well in advance. These storms shut down the roads for the better part of the day while the city and state worked to clear the roads.
Not only were these storms forecast days in advance – but the media just went hysterical over them! The media was really hyping these storms and instilling fear in people.
So, guess what happened? On the day of the storm – which turned out to be much less severe than predicted – no one went out. Everyone pretty much stayed home. They had had so much fear put into them by the weather reports that they had radically altered their plans so as not to be bothered by the storm.
One of these so-called blizzards dropped 3 inches of snow on the New York metro area. Three inches is nothing! New Yorkers used to not even notice 3 inches of snow! Now, thanks to all the hysterical weather reports – they won’t even go outside in an 3 inch storm! To say the least – that’s not good for business.
What you really want to see is a storm that takes everybody by surprise. If this 3 inch snowstorm had occurred suddenly and out of the blue – people would have already been out and they would later need to get home. They wouldn’t have cancelled all their plans and they’d be going out to bars and restaurants. That would have made for a super busy time for drivers and it would have led to very high surges.
But, since it was predicted – and hyped – it turned what could have been a great day for drivers into a dead day.
Treacherous Weather – is it Worth it?
One thing you need to consider is how worth it is it though, to drive in bad storms? You have to figure out what level of treachery you’re willing to put up with for a few extra dollars. Remember, nothing is as valuable as your life – so you never want to put your life at risk simply to earn a few extra bucks.
Also, consider your car and what would happen if it were damaged in any way. Bad weather puts you at greater risk for some kind of accident. So, you definitely want to keep that in consideration.
Last year I drove in a snowstorm. I was never unsafe because the snow was powdery and fairly easy to drive in. But, what I didn’t realize until after I got outside – was that my tires were not in any way the kind of tires you’d want to drive on in snow! I got stuck at one point – with two passengers in the car! Thankfully, they were two large men and they were easily able to help me push the car out of the mush. And fortunately they were very good natured about it and didn’t rate me less than 5 stars!
But there have been other times when we’ve had strong storms that came with a lot of rain and wind that I’ve considered it too risky to drive in and I’ve stayed home.
Just remember to always put safety first. Getting into an accident is easier than you think and happens far more often than it should. And it’s even more likely to happen during times of bad weather.
Any Kind of Outdoor Event Combined with Bad Weather is Perfect!
One of the best combinations are large events – especially outdoor ones! The events that will be letting out just as bad weather rolls in are awesome! This is the winning combination. Especially if the storm is a surprise!
So, check your local events calendar for large outdoor events and then check the weather! And keep track of any large events that are held outdoors. If they are, then you can expect tons of people to come spilling out long before the event is over if a seriously bad storm comes their way.
Always check the weekly schedule for these following event venues in your area:
- Convert venues
How do you utilize weather? Now, let me tell you a story. A while ago there was a music festival outside, tens of thousands of people, okay, and I was kicking back home with my wife, hanging out, and all of a sudden, a storm rolled in, and it was coming down, and it was coming down hard. And I checked the weather, and it was saying that it was going to be around for a while.
And so, I quickly checked, “Hey, what’s the schedule like for this festival?” “Oh, hey, guess what? The weather was hitting, and the festival was just about to end. The last person was about to perform.” “Honey, I’ve got to go. Say, goodnight to the kids.”
I hit the road, and I drove 15 minutes to there, and what I got is a 650% prime time. So first, Uber language, that’s 7.5X. That was a really, really big fare. Why did that work?
Well, multiple things. I let weather work for me. It wasn’t a flash weather thing where it was going to be there and be gone.
I also had an outdoor festival. They couldn’t hide. Also, it was at the end of the festival, so everyone is going to be leaving. You need to think about all these different factors.
Look at your weather every week. Of course, the weather is going to change. You can’t predict it perfectly but look ahead of time. Look before your shift. Is weather gonna roll in?
And if weather comes in and it’s a flash thing where it comes and maybe it stays, and it’s something that one is unexpected, you’re going to see a big surge in Prime Time because other people weren’t expecting it either. And so, they’re gonna be caught in the rain, they need to get somewhere, and they’re going to put it on their apps.
So use weather for you. But here, know this. When it comes down hard, and its downpouring is dangerous, and it’s blizzard, you’ve got to weigh the risk.
Will you make more money if you drive when there’s a crazy blizzard when no one’s on the street? Yeah, but there’s a reason why no one’s on the street.
You need to weigh, is that worth it? Do you have good snow tires? Do you have good tires in the rain?
Weigh your risk because you’ve got to be careful. If you wanted to make that kind of big money during those times, you’ve got to count the cost.
And so, use weather for your advantage. Look ahead. Look at different sporting events, outdoor events, any kind of event, and see [if it] will rain or certain kind of weather cause it to change, and use that for your benefit.
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