Broken car. Accident with car. Overheated engine. Red car. Crash and accident with car. Vector flat cartoon illustration

The COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide economic shut down has given us a New Normal. It has changed the way we conduct business and the nature of the work we perform.

Crashes & Abandoned Cars

Since most people were sequestered in their homes, there was much less traffic on the roads. Because of this, the people who were on the road drove much faster and more recklessly. As a result, many of the crashes were un-survivable. Multiple “accident investigations” are reported every day on the traffic reports from 880 and 1010 AM radio.

Another interesting development I’ve noticed is the number of broken down and abandoned cars strewn all over the road. I see multiple cars every day on the side of the road with no one in or near the abandoned car. Don’t the owners of these vehicles have a cell phone to call 911, or AAA or Roadside Assistance through their auto insurance?

My Roadside Assistance plan through USAA is only $16! That’s a really smart investment, in my humble opinion!

My guess is that many folks who did not drive their cars for a year – from March 2020 to March 2021 – did not maintain their cars properly. Because of this, when they got back on the road, their cars died.

Very Generous Passengers

When I started driving for Royal Coachman in October 2013, I was grateful to receive $20 in tips by the end of each week. Since the slow recovery from this pandemic, most of my passengers are traveling on vacation. I bring them to EWR, JFK or LGA to send them on their way to Acapulco, Aruba, Florida and numerous exotic and desirable destinations. At least half these rides in my SUV produce a tip of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 bills. I’m now averaging $20 a day in tips. This 700% increase is because my passengers are in a good mood, going on vacation instead of going to work.

More Interesting Rides

Before the pandemic hit, my rides were limited to bringing executives from their home to the airport, from the airport back home, and occasional rides into or out of their offices in New Jersey and New York City. Since the pandemic, the variety of new rides has increased dramatically. Some examples include: driving families to funerals, beer brewery and whiskey distillery tours, and even delivering food from very high end restaurants to wealthy customers.

I’m very grateful for my job as a chauffeur and my New Normal is working very well for me!

The point of this Street Stories is this: Sometimes when you have a bad situation, it can turn into a good situation if you just keep moving forward. Don’t give up; it is often darkest before the dawn. The best is yet to be.

(On a side note, I am very grateful that Leros / Royal Coachman kept me working throughout this perilous pandemic. This had a tremendous positive impact on me and I am very grateful!)

Article by RH Stovall, Jr

R.H. Stovall, Jr. is a Senior Executive Chauffeur, trainer and mentor for Royal Coachman Worldwide in Denville, NJ.

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