It may seem early to mention Labor Day in August, but by the time you read the September issue, it will likely have come and gone – so we are offering tips to stay safe on the busy weekend leading up to it, along with advice for avoiding accidents at intersections and industry-related issues.
Labor Day Weekend
• This year, Labor Day is Monday, September 4 – and the weekend leading up to it brings with it a spike in the number of fatal and catastrophic accidents, due to people driving while intoxicated. So, be extra watchful for drunk drivers during that three-day period.
• Call 911 to report any apparent drunk drivers traveling on highways or city streets. DO NOT confront anyone directly.
• 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.
• Be patient if you are delayed in police DWI checkpoints as dangerous drivers are being removed from the road, and you could have been their next victim.
• When you are approaching an intersection always look in all directions, regardless of what stop signs or traffic signals say.
• Slow down and anticipate jaywalkers.
• Regardless of who has the right of way, you are expected to take evasive defensive driving actions designed to prevent accidents at all times.
• Always control and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions.
Special Industry Related Accidents
• Always obey the posted bus-lane restrictions. Red zone cruising can result in a moving traffic violation.
• Never speed up or pass through a red light to pick up a waiting customer.
• Always obey the law. If you are not permitted to respond to street hails, the vehicle behind you will not anticipate you making a sudden stop.
• Always anticipate your passenger making an unannounced, abrupt and unsafe exit due to excess traffic conditions.
• Never eat, drink or use a cell phone while your vehicle is in motion.
• Always be prepared to take defensive and evasive actions in the event you encounter unsafe or inexperienced drivers.
• Never follow a handsome cab too closely or blow your horn in its vicinity. Horses react irrationally to abrupt actions and noises.
Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for Hereford Insurance Company. He welcomes your questions and comments, and can be reached at 718.361.9191 ext. 7235, or via email at