When I first started driving I worried about my acceptance rate, but after awhile I learned that it's not as important as you think. Uber hypes it up to make sure that drivers accept any ride that comes their way, even if it's not to your advantage to do so, which translates to riders getting better/shorter response times to their requests.
For reference, I have a 92% acceptance rate for this week (it resets every week) so I don't decline without reason. If you're in the middle of a huge surge zone and you receive a request that's 10 minutes away with no surge, decline and wait for the Surge. If you see that a request is taking you to an area that you don't feel safe in, or you just don't want to go to, decline. If you're about to sign off but receive a request that you would rather not take before you do, decline. It really has zero effect on you if you do it occasionally.
As for cancellations, I reserve those for when I arrive for a pick up, and cannot get in touch with the rider after waiting for the allotted time. When you decline a ride Uber will just send the next closest driver, no big deal. When you cancel on someone who is waiting for you (aside from the example above) it's rude to waste their time in my opinion.
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