This month, we are focusing on ways drivers can improve the customer experience, which consistently results in better gratuities. We also delve into the importance of using seatbelts.

Customer Relations

  • When picking up a customer, it’s essential to make a good first impression. This sets the tone for the entire trip and can directly impact your income (through gratuities).
  • Do your best to make your first interaction with a customer a positive one. This includes dressing appropriately, as well as being well-groomed, polite and helpful.
  • Remember: Most customer complaints often result from one seemingly minor, and often avoidable mistake.

Common Driver Mistakes to (do Your Best to) Avoid

  • Not telling dispatch that you need more time to arrive at a pickup address
  • Not confirming the specific pickup address
  • Not confirming the client name and destination
  • Not communicating your route choice with the customer, if it differs from the norm
  • Not checking traffic patterns in your anticipated route, to avoid parades, street fairs and construction delays
  • Not opening the passenger’s door for them (when applicable)
  • Not assisting with luggage or packages (when applicable)
  • Not having a clean vehicle
  • Being generally unprepared – meaning poor knowledge of the rules, and not having vouchers prepared, reading material and an adequate supply of fuel
  • Driving UNSAFELY – which includes speeding, cutting in and out of traffic, excessive braking and/or talking on your cell phone

Seat Belt Usage Recommendations

Each year, motor vehicle accidents kill more than 44,000 drivers and passengers, and seriously injure more than a million additional motor vehicle occupants. Accidents are the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 35, and the number one cause of on-the-job deaths. In many cases, death can be prevented and the severity of injuries substantially reduced by using seatbelts.

  • Do not proceed from the pickup location until all seatbelts are fastened. Any extra belts should be secured so they won’t cause injury in a crash.
  • Seatbelts should be adjusted so they fit snugly over the hip bones. If a lap-shoulder combination belt is used, adjust the shoulder portion so the width of your hand can easily slide between you and the belt.
  • Limit the maximum number of vehicle occupants to the number of safety belts in the vehicle.
  • When used, seatbelts cut fatalities in half and reduce the serious injuries by approximately 55%. These reductions hold true regardless of speed. Whether you are traveling at 5mph or 55mph, safety belts make a difference.

Ways Safety Belts Help Vehicle Occupants

  • They prevent “human collisions.” Without safety belts, vehicle occupants can be killed or injured by hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, door, window, roof or other passengers.
  • They spread the force of the collision over the strongest, most resilient parts of the body: the hips and shoulders.
  • They prevent passengers from being ejected from a vehicle in a crash. An ejected passenger can hit another vehicle, tree, telephone pole, guardrail, etc.

They keep the driver in his/her seat, and in control of the vehicle.

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Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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