Operations

How To Field A Safer Driving Team

Jim Luff
Posted on August 11, 2015
Operators should have detailed, ongoing driving training programs in place to ensure a top-notch team of chauffeurs.
Operators should have detailed, ongoing driving training programs in place to ensure a top-notch team of chauffeurs.

Operators should have detailed, ongoing driving training programs in place to ensure a top-notch team of chauffeurs.

Operators should have detailed, ongoing driving training programs in place to ensure a top-notch team of chauffeurs.
Operators should have detailed, ongoing driving training programs in place to ensure a top-notch team of chauffeurs.

Protecting Yourself From Post-Trip Germs
Properly cleaning a vehicle post-trip requires a check of every nook and cranny, every ice well, every bucket and ashtray for items left behind that might offend your next passenger. We all know that occasionally couples get amorous in the back of a limo and you need to expect that. Use latex gloves for your protection when cleaning vehicles. Whether it is a wad of chewed up gum, a wrapper or something more hazardous, it needs to be removed from the vehicle.

Protecting Yourself From Passengers
Many chauffeurs have been attacked by intoxicated or angry passengers. Chauffeurs are at risk due to factors that include working alone, a perception they carry a lot of cash, dealing with strangers and even language barriers. Attempt to “read” your passenger and assess threats by observing body language and listening to what is going on in the back of your vehicle. Make sure to update your dispatcher of any potential concerns. Develop enough of a relationship with them so they will sense stress in a radio or phone conversation. Have a code that can be used to indicate you need immediate law enforcement response.

Passenger Safety

Keeping Your Passengers Safe
Passenger safety means making sure your passengers are safe at all times and follow your rules. You are the captain of the ship and must command that respect from the start.

Making sure passengers are safe begins with a thorough pre-trip inspection before any passengers enter your vehicle. Once you load, set a tone with them that you are willing to bend over backwards to help them in any way you can but this is “your vehicle.” If you are operating a bus, make sure they do not cross the standee line. Be polite, but firm. Let them know you will be opening and closing the doors for them. Never let passengers exit on the driver’s side into traffic. Be aware of drunk passengers exiting your vehicle and possible trip hazards they might encounter when exiting.

  • Checking the local/regional weather forecasts; don’t let a storm take you by surprise.
  • Allow extra time for weather delays. Set expectations realistic to the road conditions.
  • Winterize equipment: Tires, belts, chains, defrosters, wipers, and other equipment should be ready for inclement weather.
  • Decrease speed.
  • Increase following distance. A longer stopping distance in bad weather is critical to avoid an accident.

Winter Survival
Are you be prepared to “weather a storm” in your vehicle? Things you might want to carry with you include gloves, an ice scraper, a lighter and a large bottle of water. It is completely possible you could become stranded on the highway due to snow, ice, fog or other road conditions, making it impossible to continue. You may need to turn off your vehicle to conserve fuel. You may get stuck in a remote location and need to start a fire either for warmth or as a signal. Be prepared.

For More Info
This article is based on a round-up of tips I’ve posted during the past year at my Shop Talk Blog (www.lctmag.com/blog/shop-talk/list). Key words: safety, chauffer training, driver training. You also can get a complete list of driver safety-related articles and posts at (www.lctmag.com/list/topic/driver-safety).


Related Topics: chauffeur training, distracted driving, driver safety, driver training, driving, How To, improving chauffeur driving style, Jim Luff, passenger safety, Safety, Shop Talk blog, staff training, vehicle safety, weather, winter weather preparation

Jim Luff Contributing Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • E.T.

     | about 3 years ago

    There are 3 whole pages of this sh#t? Even though I'd just landed on this planet, this is too much even for me. #JimLuff

More Stories
Video

LCT East: Catch the Wave of Success

LCT/NLA Show East takes place November 5-7, 2017 at Harrah's Resort Atlantic City and offers a complete trade show marketplace, networking forum, and educational lineup ideal for limousine and bus operators nationwide and based on the East Coast.