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Which stranger’s car should I jump into?

There I was, belted in the backseat of some stranger’s car as he drove out of the train station. I had never seen this guy before, this man who asked me where I lived in a gruff, heavy accented voice. It was just he and I in his car, and I just hoped that he would take me to my house, not anywhere else on this dark rainy day.

Why on earth did I trust this stranger and hop into his car without a moment’s hesitation? Because this guy is a taxi driver. In my mind, that made all the difference. I would never accept a stranger’s invitation to drive me home, but I will allow a taxi-driver to take me home. What is the difference? Why would I trust one stranger and not another? The answer is design. I saw the yellow car with the word Taxi on the top and I instantly associated it with lots of good experiences with other taxis. If I doubted, I could look at the prominently displayed documents stating Yellow Cab’s rules and the state of Virginia’s laws regarding taxis. Even though I had never seen this particular driver before, I trusted him because I trusted the design of his car and the design of the documents pasted on his windows. The only difference between the other stranger and the taxi driver was design.


  1. thecheshirekatt wrote:

    You know, I had that exact same feeling the last time I rode in a cab. It creeped me out that someone I didn’t know was driving me, but I more faith in him than an ordinary stranger because he was driving a taxi.

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 5:53 am | Permalink
  2. globo wrote:

    Very interesting way to look at it. It is true that in a way design is something people can trust and depend on. Sometimes a logo will dictate what we choose versus another. Come to think of it, imaging going into a taxi cab is a bit creepy now.

    Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
  3. hopeful1 wrote:

    I was in New York earlier this year, and we took a taxi to the Met. I didn’t used to think about it much when my family and I would ride to the airport in a taxi…but it is kinda creepy. And they put things in their like tvs to make you feel more comfortable. But one year, my brother and I were walking around New York and saw this family come out of a taxi screaming at the driver. They had two kids with them, and apparently what the driver did was ‘inappropriate’…so I am even more cautious about taxis now.

    Monday, December 5, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Permalink