Skip to content

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.

3 Comments

  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