Learn How To Make Small Talk By Practicing With Cab Drivers

You went for a ride in a taxicab for the first time recently, and it was a very quiet trip. You aren't good at small talk, and you couldn't think of a single thing to say to start a discussion. You'll need to use taxi service on a regular basis now, and you don't want to ride around in silence. This may be the perfect time to learn how to make casual conversation with people you don't know, which is a friendly way to pass the time.

Possible Topics

It's safe to say that cab drivers in general are good at small talk since they spend a lot of time in close quarters with customers who are strangers. The U.S. Department of Labor website O*Net OnLine identifies cab driving as a social occupation, and many cab companies list a friendly personality as part of their requirements for driver candidates. 

If you start a casual conversation, your driver will probably have no trouble continuing it. Several topics are common for small talk. 


Talking about weather is probably the easiest subject of all. People do this all the time when they're waiting in line or making small talk with a cashier. You might gripe about the heat, cold, snow or rain, or you might mention how great it is that it finally rained, that it finally stopped raining, that there will be snow on Christmas, and any number of topics. 

Road Construction

Even when people aren't together in a vehicle, they often chit-chat about the state of the roads in town. A cab driver obviously has a vested interest in this subject and probably will be more than happy to join you in complaining about detours, potholes and the like.

Upcoming Weekends or Holidays

"So, do you have to work on weekends?" is one possible question, as is, "So, do you have to work on Thanksgiving?" or whatever holiday is coming up soon. If you have to work weekends or holidays, or know someone who does, you can commiserate. 

TV Shows

You might wonder how on earth to bring up a particular TV show when you're sitting in the back of a cab. However, once you get more accustomed to small talk, it's easy. Simply ask a question such as, "Did you happen to see Grey's Anatomy last night?" The more popular the show is, the more likely the driver watches it or is at least familiar with it. 

Even if the driver gives a negative response, he or she may qualify it with a remark such as not caring for medical dramas, having a preference for sitcoms or having a family member who watches Grey's every week. From there, you can come up with your own response and see whether the conversation naturally flows.

Unfamiliar Territory

If you're using taxi service in a city where you don't live, you have the chance to ask the driver questions about the area. For instance, you might ask whether he or she can recommend any good pizza joints or historical points of interest. You might make a glowing compliment about the scenery, the skyscrapers or the friendliness of the locals. 

Topics to Avoid

In general, you probably don't want to bring up topics that could irritate you or the driver and lead to an argument. Prime examples of those subjects include politics, controversial news and religious topics. 

If the Driver Doesn't Want to Talk

Don't make a substantial effort to engage the driver in conversation if he or she obviously doesn't want to converse. And don't take it personally. The driver may be the quiet type or could be having a bad day.


By practicing the art of small talk with taxi drivers, you'll become skilled at this form of casual conversation and soon will have no problems striking up a discussion with people everywhere you go. This can make those moments of waiting in line or similar activities go by more quickly and more enjoyably. In addition, conversing regularly with people you often encounter can even lead to friendships. 

The next time you need a taxi service, check out one like San Gabriel Transit.