The holiday season brings with it many challenges for New York City drivers, and New Year’s Eve in particular can be a tough night to work. This month, we are offering tips on how to better navigate New Year’s Eve, along with additional seasonal and general safety tips.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is always a hectic night for drivers in the city, so please PREPARE ahead of time. We recommend reading a variety of newspapers and online news sources to learn about street closings and detours that could affect your work shift.

  • Please try to be patient with passengers who may be intoxicated. It is far better that they chose to hire you for a ride, rather than getting behind the wheel and driving drunk.
  • Make yourself familiar with area police precincts. Don’t take the law into your own hands if you are being abused or threatened by a drunk passenger.
  • Wear your seatbelts at all times as large crowds tend to jaywalk on New Year’s Eve, causing sudden stops. Recommend that passengers do the same.
  • Try to use local streets, when possible, as opposed to highways. It is easier to take defensive driving actions on a street than a highway, where speeding drivers – who may be drunk – will be traveling.
  • Do your best to be extra nice to your passengers on New Year’s Eve, even if you become frustrated. You will be pleasantly surprised by the gratuities you receive in appreciation for working on such a difficult and dangerous evening.

Beware of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Always be cognizant of the fact that carbon monoxide – which flows from your car’s tailpipe – can be deadly. Please take the following precautions:

  • Do not leave your motor running in a garage.
  • Do not leave the motor running and windows closed when you are waiting for a radio call.
  • Do not run the heater or air conditioner when parked with the windows shut.
  • Do not leave your vents open when following closely behind other vehicles.
  • Do not operate a vehicle with a defective muffler or exhaust system.
  • Make sure snow is not blocking your exhaust pipes. It can send carbon monoxide fumes back into your vehicle, which can be deadly.

Parking Lot & Shopping Mall Accidents

During this time of year, you will likely spend extra time in parking lots as passengers will be shopping for holiday gifts. Please heed the following tips when traveling in a parking lot or shopping mall:

  • Anticipate unsafe maneuvers by motorists exiting or entering a parking space or parking lot.
  • Beware of vehicles traveling in the wrong direction, looking for a space or the exit. Drivers often make unsafe moves to obtain a parking space.
  • Always yield to a vehicle backing into or out of a parking space. Remember: A driver’s rearview window may be obstructed by packages when they are backing out and they may not see you.
  • Beware: Kids, parents with strollers and seniors often make unsafe moves.
  • Always use caution when you or your passengers open your door and exit your car in a parking space.
  • Always scan the area prior to loading your trunk. Avoid bending over unsafely to load your trunk as a motorist backing up may not see you.
  • Use extra caution when passing a double-parked vehicle. Even if the other driver waves you on, you will be held accountable for your actions.
  • Use extra caution when picking up a dispatched call. Criminals like to call from an isolated area. Don’t become a victim of a robbery or carjacking.

Driver Safety

There has been an increase in crime and violent attacks on drivers in recent months. Please, always make your SAFETY is the primary goal of every work shift. Your family members, friends and peers appreciate the valuable contributions and sacrifices you make every day for them and New York City.

  • Please do not argue with passengers over a fare.
  • Please don’t leave your vehicles if a passenger attempts to flee without paying. It could be a trick to get you out of your vehicle to hurt and rob you.
  • Please do not roll your driver-side window down to collect a fare. Always try to collect fares while passengers are still in your vehicle.
  • When applicable, negotiate your fare prices prior to beginning your trip so there is no conflict at the conclusion of the trip.
  • If you operate a vehicle with a partition, consider the hours you are working to determine if the partition will best serve you when CLOSED.
Article by Bertram Merling

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

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