When you spend enough time on the road, it’s common to get frustrated and impatient – but your goals as a For-Hire Vehicle (FHV) driver are to earn a living, do your job to the best of your ability and get home safely after your shift ends. This month, we examine some important ways to help you accomplish those tasks.

Avoiding Rear-End Collisions

  • Rear-end collisions are most often caused by drivers not maintaining a safe following distance – also referred to as tailgating. Always maintain a safe following distance, and add additional space when you are tired, stressed or road conditions dictate it.
  • Road conditions that require extra space between your car and the car in front of you include rainy or icy weather, slippery substances (as in newly-paved streets) and deer crossings.
  • Always anticipate that a taxi or FHV may stop suddenly and without warning to respond to a street hail.
  • Do not immediately proceed when a traffic signal turns green, without first scanning the entire area to be sure other vehicles are not making unsafe, last-minute turns in front of you.
  • Always be aware of surrounding vehicles, not just the ones directly in front of you.
  • Beware of other drivers who intentionally try to cause accidents, so they can commit insurance fraud. The most common type occurs when a vehicle in front of you stops for no apparent reason and the vehicle next to you (conspiring with the vehicle in front of you) prevents you from taking evasive action.
  • Always try to keep a clear lane on all sides when traveling on the highway.
  • Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving may cause erratic driving or a rear-end collision.
  • A good way to measure a safe following distance is to use the “3-second rule.” Choose an object near the road ahead of you, like a street sign or telephone pole. As the vehicle ahead of you passes it, count, “one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three.” If you reach the selected object before you finish counting, you are too close to the vehicle ahead of you. Make an immediate adjustment.

Speed Kills

  • Always obey the posted speed limit. Try to familiarize yourself with the speed limits and traffic laws of the areas you frequent most.
  • Always scan the entire area around you to keep an eye out for drivers speeding or behaving recklessly. Be prepared to take defensive and evasive actions should you observe someone speeding.
  • Frequent, timely rearview mirror checks will alert you to speeding vehicles and allow you to signal and move out of the way.
  • The faster a vehicle is traveling, the greater the risk for a fatality or serious injury in an accident.
  • Speeding and unsafe lane changing not only causes accidents but road rage incidents.
  • Speeding violations can add points to your driver’s license.
  • Drivers with a history of excessive speeding violations may see their insurance rate increased or policy cancelled.
  • Drivers who speed on the streets of New York with passengers in their vehicles often receive customer complaints or can be reported to the TLC.
  • Drivers delayed in traffic en route to a radio dispatched call should notify the passenger or base… DO NOT speed to compensate for being late.

Simply stated: DO NOT SPEED and AVOID THOSE WHO ARE SPEEDING.

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Article by Bertram Merling

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

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