We know it seems a bit early to be discussing Labor Day, but our next issue most likely won’t hit the street until after September 3, so we decided to include these in our August issue. This will allow you to plan ahead. We also added in tips about maintaining a proper posture when seated in your vehicle to avoid health issues and accidents, as well as some tips for safely loading/unloading passengers.

Labor Day Weekend

  • During Labor Day Weekend, the number of fatal and catastrophic accidents spike because more people are Driving While Intoxicated (DWI). Use caution and be prepared to employ your best defensive driving skills if you observe an apparent drunk driver.
  • Call 911 to report any apparent drunk drivers traveling on the highway or city streets. Do not confront a drunk driver.
  • Be patient if you are delayed in police DWI checkpoints. You could have been the next victim of the drunk drivers they remove from the road.
  • Traffic volume increases after Labor Day, so be patient and be prepared to plan alternate routes to help your passengers arrive safely to their destinations in the timeliest manner.
  • Proper Posture While Driving
  • The way you sit and hold the steering wheel affects your driving. Good posture can help you stay alert and maintain better control of your vehicle.
  • Sit with your back straight, upright and relaxed against the seat.
  • Move your seat close enough so you can easily reach the pedals but far enough away that your elbows are in front of you when you hold the steering wheel.
  • Keep both feet within reach of the floor controls.
  • Keep both hands on the steering wheel.

 

Loading & Unloading Passengers

  • Always scan the area behind you prior to utilizing the trunk.
  • Always pull as close to the curb as possible when loading luggage in the trunk.
  • Never stop to pick up a passenger in an area that leaves your vehicle at risk of being rear-ended by traffic when there is available curb space in the immediate vicinity.
  • Do not negotiate with passengers in the middle of the street.
  • Always signal and pull as close to the curb as possible when arriving to load or unload a passenger dispatched from a base.
  • Always pull into a passenger loading area without impeding the flow of traffic.
  • Do not delay traffic when a passenger enters your vehicle at a red light. Be prepared to proceed, and pull over to the nearest curb space, if necessary. Delaying traffic can lead to road rage incidents or rear-end collisions.
  • After loading your passenger, remind them that their safety is your primary concern, and that when you arrive at their destination, you will open the door for them and assist them, as soon as it’s safe.
  • If you only have one passenger, encourage them to sit on the side of the vehicle that will be the curbside upon your arrival at their destination.
  • Always check all rearview and sideview mirrors prior to exiting your vehicle to assist a passenger. You should check your mirrors even if you are not exiting your vehicle, to determine when it is safe for a passenger to depart your vehicle.
  • Always assist a passenger to the sidewalk before you retrieve luggage or other items from your trunk.
  • When you are about to unload the trunk, scan the area behind you to ensure there are no vehicles approaching in an unsafe manner.
  • If you arrive for a dispatched passenger, wait for another FHV to finish loading at the curb and leave the spot, so you can pull into the vacated spot.
  • Try to avoid loading or unloading passengers or trunk items while your vehicle is double parked.
  • Do not leave cash or other valuables openly exposed in the front seat, while you are assisting a passenger or attending to the trunk.

 

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Article by Bertram Merling

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

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