As we start 2020, I would like to wish everyone a Happy New Year. This month, we will address what defines a chauffeur and the role professional drivers can play in keeping NYC safe. We also tacked on some child safety tips for you to consider.

What is a Chauffeur?

A chauffeur is a “professional” who transports passengers in a motor vehicle.

  • Chauffeurs are often trained to provide luxury sedan, limo and/or black car services – and therefore should maintain the highest possible standards for appearance, customer service and general behavior. In other words, chauffeurs are expected to think, look and act professionally.
  • Chauffeurs provide an essential service for their clients. But chauffeurs depend on their clients, not the other way around. Clients are not interruptions; they are the reason you show up for work. Clients expect and deserve the most courteous, attentive treatment possible.
  • Who are your clients? They are often upper-level management, college educated, well-traveled, impatient and demanding, and have discretionary income. They expect exceptional customer service, and your income depends on how well and how consistently you provide that.

State of Mind Safety Tips

Defensive driving requires a full-time effort. Don’t allow outside influences to affect your behavior and mood.

  • Lateness:Being late can lead to unsafe driving and increases the risk of an accident. Allow extra time for traffic and provide an ETA you can keep.
  • Upset?Leave personal problems at home. Focus on safe driving and service.
  • Excited?Don’t get excited or angry with other motorists’ aggressions.
  • Impulsivity: Do not act on impulses without scanning the entire area.
  • Focus:Limit daydreaming to when you are parked. Good defensive driving requires 100% concentration.
  • Enjoy your day but not “too much”:Avoid getting locked into radio stations that may cause you to have so much fun you lose your concentration.

You Can Be Eyes & Ears of New York

The world has many dangers, and one of the most significant is a potential terrorist attack that could result in deaths and/or injuries to innocent citizens. The military, government agencies, FBI, Port Authority police and the New York City Police Department are hard at work protecting us all – but professional drivers in the NYC-Metro area are also in a unique position to assist in our national security.

  • You spend much of your workday at airports, terminals, ports and busy city landmarks – all of which are high risk areas and potential terrorist targets.
  • There are dangers everywhere. Stay attentive when you are driving on NYC streets and surrounding areas. If you observe anything suspicious in nature or anyone acting suspiciously, call Crime Watch at: 718.244.4333.
  • Your participation can help keep all of us – and our families – safe from a tragedy. Be a participant, not a bystander, in matters of our city’s security.

Child Safety

Even minor crashes can be fatal for an unprotected child. Please heed the following:

  • Never hold an unprotected child in your lap or arms while driving or riding in a vehicle. In the event of an accident you might cause further injury to the child you are trying to protect.
  • Never drive while a child is standing in the vehicle. Even a slight swerve or sudden stop can throw a child against a door, seatback or window.
  • Use the correct safety system, which meets federal safety standards.
  • Approved infant safety seats are used for infants up to 20 pounds. They face backward (preferably in the middle of the back seat) and are anchored by the vehicle lap belt. A safety harness holds the infant snuggly in the seat.
  • Toddler safety seats are for children who can sit up unassisted (usually 20-40 pounds). The child rides sitting up, facing forward. Some models use a shield that protects the upper body; others use a harness.
  • Convertible safety seats can be used for infants and toddlers. They are often heavier and more expensive but can be used from birth to age four.
  • Booster safety seats can be used for children too big for a safety seat, but too small for adult belts. Booster seats allow the safe use of adult lap belts. Some use a shoulder harness with an anchor strap.
  • Adult safety belts should be used for larger children, but never use a shoulder belt that goes across the neck or face. In those instances, use a lap belt only. In an emergency, when a safety seat is not available, use the lap portion of the belt for young children who can sit up.
Article by Bertram Merling

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

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