PROM SEASON IS NEARLY UPON US. This means there will be a constant influx of prom goers getting in and out of your vehicle. At that age, they generally adopt the “I don’t have a care in the world attitude, as did we all, and it’s up to you to do the thinking for them. Whether it’s the alcohol, keeping things under control, or simply making sure they don’t slip, it’s up to you to keep them happy and healthy while in your care.
1 • ENTERING AND EXITING THE VEHICLE: Many of our young prom goers are wearing new shoes, new dresses, and rented shoes and the like. If you are using an SUV, consider getting a small step made and covered with carpet to assist them in entry and exit from the door. The running boards can be narrow and slick and can cause a slip and fall exposing you to liability for injury. Consider adding grip tape or anti-slip material to the section of running board that they will be stepping on for additional traction.
Runners seem to creep around with a full load of passengers. Have the chauffeur reset the runner every time the clients are out of the vehicle. Catching a heel on the edge of a runner also can cause a slip and fall. Double-sided tape can help secure an errant runner and ease your mind.
Note: It is always recommended the chauffeur help the ladies out of the vehicle. With constrictive dresses, gowns and slippery high-heeled shoes, it is a great way to avoid any slip and falls.
2 • PROVIDING FIRST AID: I am sure most of you have a first aid kit in every car, but when is the last time you looked inside it? Replace anything that has been used, such as aspirin or band-aids. Check the expiration dates on any medication in the kit. I DO NOT recommend dispensing any medication to any passenger at any time for any reason, as this can expose you to a major lawsuit. Allow them to buy and consume their own. If you want to be the hero of any prom girl with a clothing issue, consider adding a small bag of bobby pins, safety pins, and tape in your first aid kit. The first time you have a torn dress seam, loose hem, a boutonnière that will not stay in place, or a hair emergency, the chauffeur will become an instant hero.
3 • ALWAYS HAVE SAFETY EQUIPMENT ONBOARD: The same rule for a first aid kit applies to the safety equipment in your vehicle. Pull the kit out and make sure everything is in working order. Some kits contain flares that have an expiration date on them. Make sure they are current. If your kit contains battery powered flashers, pull them out and turn them on and check the batteries and bulbs. Batteries discharge over time and you do not want to be caught with a flat and no warning markers.
Consider adding a good high powered flashlight to every car. Often, prom runs will take you off the beaten path into the country and many of the small roads in the outlying areas are poorly marked, if at all. A good flashlight will make those signs easier to read in the pitch black of a country night. Every car that is DOT compliant is required to have a fire extinguisher on board. Pull it out and check the expiration date on it. Check the level of charge as well. As I mentioned earlier, I witnessed a potentially bad situation made into a simply inconvenient one with the use of a two pound handheld fire extinguisher. No one wants to use their safety equipment, but having it and not needing it beats needing it every time.
HAVE A GREAT PROM SEASON
Every prom season that passes reminds me how far away from high school I am and how old I am getting. That being said, use good common sense and good judgment when adding accessories to your vehicle. Check that the accessories can do the job you ask them to do, and sit down with your chauffeurs before prom season starts. A refresher course on how to spot alcohol, what to do if they find it, basic safety, and the added rules that apply when transporting minors without supervision, is a good place to start. I also recommend you visit the NLA website, download a copy of the PROM PROMISE, and use it. Remember that these young adults are being placed in your charge and care. Their lives depend on good judgment by you and your chauffeur.
I wish you all a safe and prosperous prom season. I just wish I was young enough to live it again.