This month, both Mother’s Day and Memorial Day weekend will likely cause traffic issues, something to consider if you plan to work any of those days. Temperatures will also continue to rise as we approach summer, so make sure you’re ready.

Mother’s Day: May 14

Mother’s Day is a special day all over New York, and one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, flower shops, and of course, FHV drivers.

  • Try to be extra considerate to all passengers, as many will themselves be mothers and many others could be people who no longer have their mothers. Do your best to be cheerful; kind words can make someone’s day.
  • Treat fellow motorists with extra courtesy for all the same reasons.
  • If you are fortunate enough to be able to see your mother, please do so and remember: Every day, you should treat women with respect. They are mothers, mentors, guardians, coaches and executives who guide us and lead us in so many ways. While they may not be our “biological mothers,” they make us better people, and deserve our respect and love EVERY DAY.

Memorial Day: May 29

Memorial Day Weekend means police will be setting up DWI checkpoints across the Tri State Area, so be prepared for potential delays.

  • Be patient if you are delayed by a DWI checkpoint. You and your passengers could have been the next victims of a drunk driver police arrested.
  • Warmer weather and a Holiday Weekend mean you should use extra caution where children may be playing – like parks, playgrounds, fire hydrants, etc.

Summer Driving Season

Remember: Air conditioning is for your passengers’ comfort. New York City buses and subways are air conditioned and offer transportation for much less than you.

  • Keep your air conditioner on. Passengers will expect a cool vehicle, don’t wait for them to request it. By the time your vehicle reaches a comfortable temp, your average passenger will already be at their destination.
  • While the amount you spend on fuel will increase when using air conditioning, the average increase in gratuities should more than offset it.
  • Driving a comfortable vehicle in the summer will reduce your chances of getting involved in a road rage incident. It will also help you work your shift without becoming irritable or exhausted.
  • It’s Prom Season, which means teenagers will be getting in and out of limousines to take photos. Please use extra caution when encountering them and allow them to enjoy their special evening.
  • Be courteous to all tourists. They rely on you for helpful hints and information and provide a tremendous boost to New York City’s economy.

Heat Alert and Summer Vehicle Tips

The coming weeks and months will likely bring many days with extreme heat. Please heed the following advice to stay safe and healthy.

  • Drink plenty of water – at least two liters a day during a heat wave.
  • Don’t wait for extreme heat to arrive. Inspect your radiator (or have it inspected) if your vehicle is more than a year old. Also: Change worn fan belts, check your fluids and replace (or remove) your winter thermostat.
  • Check vehicle fluids and belts PRIOR to each shift in a heat wave. You DO NOT want to break down on a sweltering NYC day.
  • Do your best to be patient. Not all drivers have air conditioning and extreme heat can cause road rage.
  • Remember: Many pedestrians could be light-headed or dehydrated, causing them to act in an unsafe manner.
  • Offer to help senior citizens in and out of your vehicle and ask if they are okay or need assistance.
  • Be extra alert for children at all hours, playing in or near city streets.
  • Remember: Children may be playing in the street at open fire hydrants, so be careful – and don’t lose your temper if your vehicle is sprayed with water.
  • Be patient with Con Edison workers disrupting traffic. They are providing an essential and often life-saving service to all of us during a heat wave.
Article by Bertram Merling

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

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