Limo Drivers And Their Risks

When we think of the dangers that come with being a commercial driver, the biggest answer is likely to be an automotive collision. It isn’t illogical to come to this conclusion, seeing as how the act of driving is one of the most dangerous things human beings do — on a daily basis. But there are a number of other concerns that private transportation companies may want to be prepared for when they send chauffeurs out on the road, lest they find themselves spending precious time and money to play catch-up. Being a professional chauffeur means that there will always be a great number of encounters throughout the work week, which also means that there is a chance that the person they pick up could be hiding bad intentions.

Despite the fact that limousine services have more control over who gets into a vehicle and where they will be picked up, that doesn’t take away the possibility for a vulnerable limo to be targeted. The horror stories we may hear about drivers being held hostage, taken to isolated areas, or just gunned down are what the public may think about but not be a constant presence in their mind. As for the men and women who must sit behind the wheel every day, it’s a fear that may not literally be constant, but it hits home on a much greater level.

With the chauffeur playing a crucial role in the survival of private limousines, is there a way to ensure that they are comfortable at all times? What do owners of these companies say to their employees? “When I book people for my services, I call them,” says Jean Hubert, affiliate of OneWayLimo. “We don’t pick up people in the street, people will call and make reservations, we have all of their information first. And if somebody doesn’t want to pay, you don’t chase them, you just let them go. And if you see someone drunk or smoking weed, please just talk to them nicely, don’t get into any fights with them. It’s a safety issue, and. I’ve been in this business seven years, haven’t had one incident.”

Though these are definitely logical and proven ideas for driver safety, that doesn’t sweep away the potential for a client cooperate perfectly one moment, then snap the next because of a disagreement. As noted earlier, when a chauffeur has to drive a plethora of people throughout their schedule there are more opportunities for insidious passengers to take advantage them. A person you pick up may have registered with your organization, it’s only the surface of what truly identifies them. Take Zhair Zamora-Sepulveda, as an example. On May 14 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona, Mr. Sepulveda and his girlfriend booked a white Hummer limo for their night out at a party. Things seemed to be going perfectly for the unidentified driver when he brought them home, until it was time to remind Sepulveda that he owed extra money for overtime due to their contract ending at midnight, and it was near 1A.M.

In an AZCentral article, it was said that the client “went into the house, then came back out to the front yard holding a gun.” A second later the chauffeur was shot at five times, taking one bullet to the right and a second to his left calf. Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the assailant has been part of two other shootings, and has been deported for illegal immigration. And in Staten Island, NY, 2015, a man trying to make an honest living as a limo driver to support his family was viciously beaten by two nineteen-year-old passengers after interfering with their fight. As you read stories such as these two, what stands out the most about what lead up to each altercation? It is absolutely correct to blame the temper of the attackers in each case, but what’s important to take note of is the fact that the chauffeur was engaging the client(s).

The conversation I had with Jean Hubert came to mind while reading about these events, the philosophy of not chasing after customers who refuse to pay, and getting engaged physically. It’s a very simple token of advice, but the human emotional element gets involved and all logic goes away. That is not to say that the chauffeurs who were attacked are bad at their profession and hold all the responsibility, however. It is meant to spark questions about the ways drivers are trained to handle cumbersome scenarios and seek out ways to answer those concerns. When looking for the best chauffeur qualities, there are sixteen criteria that should have a rate of concern for drivers (Note: again, this is by no means a label on the victims). Three particular conditions to pay attention to are “self-control”, “stress tolerance”, and “adaptability & flexibility”.

Each incident starts with a verbal altercation that gets the chauffeur’s emotions wound up to the point that they forget the fact that they are a representation of the limousine company offering its service. If the gentleman who drives your vehicle shows that the pressure of the situation is too much for them, potential customers and affiliates (or worse, current ones) will start to ask themselves if they can trust your business to fulfill their needs. There will always be a great deal of challenges that interfere with your main goal. Sometimes there’s traffic, other times it’s not having enough vehicles or insurance for coverage; flights get delayed/canceled, customers cancel pickup orders; and it will happen MULTIPLE times in a single one day. The chauffeur is the one who is directly involved in these situations, and because of this inexorable fact it’s necessary to examine what coping skills they implement when faced with the danger of violence. Even if cameras are installed to inspect a pickup/drop-off at all times, it won’t eliminate the danger that comes with this profession because humans will be humans, an element we see across all professions.

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