As the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day has historically presented some significant challenges to professional drivers. This month, we offer some tips to help avoid common issues, along with advice for loading/unloading passengers – plus a couple important warnings.
Memorial Day (May 30)
- On Memorial Day Weekend, expect police to set up checkpoints across the Tristate Area looking for people driving while intoxicated.
- Be patient if you are delayed by a DWI checkpoint. The police may be removing a potential drunk driver from the road, who could have caused harm to you and/or your passengers.
- Warmer weather – plus a Holiday weekend – means more children will be playing at parks, playgrounds, fire hydrants, etc. Please use extra caution.
- Warmer weather is also known to trigger road rage incidents. Keep your vehicle cool and do your best to stay calm, so you don’t react in a dangerous way to other drivers who may also be feeling the heat.
Loading and Unloading Passengers
- Always signal and pull as close to the curb as possible when responding to a street hail or arriving to load or unload a passenger.
- Always try to pull into a passenger loading area without impeding the flow of traffic. Delaying traffic can lead road rage incidents or rear-end collisions.
- 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.
- Inform all passengers 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 when it is safe.
- Check your rearview and side mirrors prior to exiting your vehicle to assist a passenger.
- If your passenger refuses assistance, ask them to wait until you check your mirrors so you can inform them when it is safe to exit the vehicle.
- If you only have one passenger, try to have them sit on the side of the vehicle that will be the curbside upon your arrival.
- If your passenger has luggage, always assist them to the sidewalk before retrieving it from the trunk.
- If you are retrieving something from your trunk, scan the area behind you first to ensure there are no vehicles approaching in an unsafe manner.
- When you arrive for a pre-arranged call or need to pull over for street hail, try to wait for another vehicle loading at the curb to complete their trip, so you can pull into their vacated spot.
- Try to avoid stopping to pick up a passenger in an area that leaves you vulnerable to being rear-ended by another car if there’s available curb space in the immediate vicinity.
- Try to avoid loading or unloading passengers or trunk items while your vehicle is double parked.
Road Rage Warning
There have been a number of tragic incidents recently involving road rage, so please be extra careful in the coming months.
- DO NOT confront another driver who is showing symptoms of road rage. Multiple FHV drivers have recently been victims of assault and/or robbery. If you are confronted by an angry driver, quickly apologize and move on so the incident does not escalate. It’s just not worth the trouble.
- FHV drivers have also been assaulted and/or robbed while exchanging information after an accident. It’s best to stay in your vehicle and lock the doors until the police arrive or you are confident the other driver poses no imminent threat.
- There have been numerous hit and run accidents where FHVs were the victim. Do not chase them. If it’s safe to do so, take a photo of the other car (or write down the license plate number). Report any accidents to police and your insurance company.
- Pay close attention to cars with temporary plates. If you find yourself surrounded by vehicles with temporary license plates (on the side and in front of you), use extra caution. There has been a pattern of fraudulent accidents involving vehicles with temporary plates. New York and New Jersey police describe these incidents as “organized insurance fraud.”