In response to recent safety concerns regarding limousine services, there has been a renewed urgency for raising customers’ awareness. Just like any product or service, buyers should beware; not all limo services are the same.
“Do research. Don’t go for the cheapest price. That might not be your best alternative.”– David Brown of Premier Limousine
How to Hire a Safe Limo Company
Booking honest transportation can be a real headache. It’s important that customers look into service providers before hiring an unfamiliar company because, unfortunately, there are fraudulent transportation operators out there. Here’s what we should be telling customers to look for in order to find a trustworthy limo service provider that offers reliable and safe rides.
- Operator Certification – Check the specific regulations in your state, but as a rule of thumb, limo drivers must have a commercial driver’s license to transport at least 16 passengers, clear criminal background, and pass regular health exams, drug and alcohol testing. Many states also require drivers to have a valid chauffeur’s license. Customers can look up valid operator’s licenses on their state’s Transportation Carriers website and verify that the company is a member of the National Limousine Association.
- Passenger Capacity – Dishonest operators may falsely advertise vehicles as having greater passenger capacity than what federal safety regulations allow for that vehicle size, or they may not meet the insurance and licensing requirements to safely operate a vehicle of that size and capacity. Customers should check the registered capacity of the limo or party bus they are looking to hire and ensure the operator meets the set requirements.
- Fleet Ownership – There is a rising trend of websites and ride booking apps that are essentially just marketing for drivers. But only reputable limo companies that own their fleet can provide assurance when it comes to the vehicle maintenance, insurance, and meeting passenger safety regulations.
- Vehicle Maintenance – Taking care of limos and black cars is expensive and some operators may try to cut corners. Customers should review the company’s maintenance policy and confirm the manufacturing year of the vehicle before renting.
- References & Reviews – Reputation isn’t just about appearances. A good reputation is proof that a company has a history of providing high-quality services and that it can be relied upon to do so for new customers. Bad reviews, on the other hand, are signs that the company could do more to ensure customer satisfaction and safety. When choosing an operator, customers should review online and can also check with the Better Business Bureau.
- Experience – Research how long the limo company has been in business because only experienced firms can provide you with the careful attention to detail that delivers first-class, worry-free services.
- On-site Inspection – Any reputable business will enable you to see their vehicles and offer basic information about them so that you can book the best vehicle for your needs. Ask any questions you have about the cars and pay close attention to whether you are being told the truth or whether the owner or whomever is in charge of the limos is lying. You may also inquire as to whether or not they are adequately insured.
How to Ensure Your Fleet Is Operating Safely
As an operator, your business depends on your ability to provide safe transportation. Plus, safety concerns are also a huge risk and liability. Here’s what you should be doing to ensure the security of your livelihood.
- Maintain a Spotless Service Record – Drivers must be able to show that they adhere to laws and safety standards while on the road. They should always pay attentive to other drivers, and follow traffic regulations.
- Help Drivers to Avoid Distractions – Drivers need to focus on the road and actively avoid unnecessary distractions. They should never be required to answer calls, respond to messages, or handle bookings while on the job. Managers can support attentive driving by partnering with an answering service which will handle incoming calls 24 hours a day so that the fleet operators can pay attention to the road.
- Insist on Thorough Driver Training – The safety of a limousine is only as good as its driver. Excellent driver training is a key part of security and well-being. Companies should be well-versed in Dept. of Transportation standards and regulations while educating their drivers to guarantee compliance. You should also provide drivers with plenty of on-the-job training to help them deal with a wide range of situations and occurrences.
- Be Ready for the Unexpected – For minor circumstances and incidents, fleet vehicles should be equipped with a first-aid kit, tire replacement tools, jumper cables, and flares. Managers should also have a documented strategy in place to deal with major and minor accidents, and this plan should be shared with all staff and drivers.
- Keep up with Vehicle Maintenance – Cars and party buses should be examined before each rental because damage or wear and tear might occur between rides. The time between rides is an ideal chance to double-check that all safety equipment is in place. Limousine operators would be wise to keep an inspection and maintenance journal. In the case of an incident or accident, these documents are invaluable. Keep in mind that preventive maintenance will also help your business avoid costly repairs and potential hazards.
- Inform Customers of Safety Standards – Display safety information, vehicle capacity and weight limits, major maintenance inspection dates, insurance and licensing information for customers to see. Whenever possible, passengers should be required to wear their seatbelts; this should be encouraged and enforced by drivers, starting by simply showing passengers where belts are and why they’re important.
Related article: Top 7 Things that Limo Customers Hate.
Keep Operations Running Securely with Call Answering Services
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