When we talk about transportation in general, what things come to our minds before anything else? How nice the ride is going to be – style or luxury? How much will I be able to save – Cost? Or, how safe is the ride or trip going to be – safety?
For many people transportation means many things. Of course, for those who are careful and wise the first thing they consider is transportation safety. Yes, I repeat it, wise people think about how safe the ride or trip is going to be before they can think of anything else. When reading this article if transportation safety doesn’t mean anything to you, now is the time for you to be aware and consider it or else you will face the consequences of your ignorance one day if you don’t adjust your mindset with “Safety before anything!” motto, today.
Whenever we engage ourselves with any transportation necessities, safety concern must be the first thing that should click in our head before anything else. Does it matter whether we travel very far distances or nearby grocery stores? Of course it does matter, but this does not mean risks are the same. The risk for some long distance travelers is much higher than for some who are running to a grocery store a mile away. However, no matter how far or short the distance is there is always some degree of transportation risk involved.
Well, transportation safety is a broad topic. So, for the sake of keeping this article short and concise, it is much better to focus and narrow it down onto limousine and taxi cab safety related issues and requirements. Limo and taxi cab services seem to have direct impact on residents and regular business travelers.
For the sake of our analysis let’s classify safety in terms of fleet and driver. Safety of fleet is not only vehicle owner’s responsibility. Rather it includes licensing agencies, local governments and any other responsible third party agencies.
Owner’s or Company’s Responsibilities
However, majority of the responsibilities remain on the owner or operator of the vehicle. Owners or companies are responsible for getting proper registration of vehicles from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – may differ state to state MVA here in Maryland, licensing to operate vehicle for business purposes in a designated region – such as a county permitting (a taxi company to operate only in that county or a limo to operate in the state) and insure vehicles to protect civilians or customers from any claim that may arise during operations.
Enforcement by Local Governments
Almost all states have a very stringent rules and regulations on companies that provide public transportation services. This is true for all kinds of ground transportation including limousine and taxi cab services. However, there seems to be quite a difference between limos and taxi cabs how they get treated. Let’s take a look at Uber for our illustration and how safety rules and regulations apply on companies such as this, which are different than local limousine companies.
Uber Taxi Company
Uber requires its partners or drivers to inspect vehicles once a year. You may wonder if that is a good or bad idea. Actually, Uber is not the one who requires vehicle inspections from its partners, rather they follow rules and regulations determined by the States. In so doing, Uber also benefits from that. If you ask how, consider this. It would be against Uber’s best interest to operate a vehicle which does not pass inspection, which means vehicle is not safe to ride. This on the other hand, increases safety risks. Whenever there is a risk, insurance premiums jack up because of foreseeable accidents that are imminent due to failed inspections. So, this would be bad not only for insurance companies but for Uber as well.
So, is it a good or bad idea to require vehicle inspection annually. There are at least two things to consider before jumping to the conclusion. We need to consider drivers who are working full time and on the other hand drivers who drive once in a while. The later could be part timers or those who drive for a leisure. From there you might use your judgement if annual inspection is really safe or not. Please, keep on reading to understand what this mean.
Consider drive “X”, who is a full time driver, working over 12 hours a day. Also, consider driver “Y” who is driving part time, during the weekends for under 20 hours a week. In these two scenarios it is obvious that driver “X” drives more miles than the other part time driver. The more a driver stays on the road the more mileage vehicle gets which leads to vehicle’s deterioration – fast wear and tear. Therefore, the more mileage vehicles get in a short period of time, the riskier the vehicle will be if not inspected monthly or frequently. For those who drive occasionally – as a leisure, an annual inspection requirement may not have an enormous risk, but for full time drivers risk stays high.
From the above scenario we looked at how full time drivers increase vehicles’ total mileage which leads to frequent safety inspections. In the same manner let’s investigate risks from full time drivers who are on the road for more than twelve hours a day. In comparison to the part timer, full timers get weary and tired after an eight hours of long day driving. If a driver stays on the road for more than what is required, that by itself raises some safety issues. Drivers can fall asleep on the road and cause accidents. This is more apparent with taxi or cab drivers than limousine chauffeurs who drive less hours and usually by reservation – like Bethesda Luxury Limo in Bethesda Maryland.
More often taxi operators run short trips, which don’t reward them the money needed for the day. To compensate that taxi drivers, have to stay on the road for many more hours than what is required. So, what does that mean? It means weary or restless drivers are more prone to accidents including unfortunate riders. Unfortunately, riders have no way of knowing who has been on the road for so many hours. Of course, unless they ask the drivers, but who in the world would tell a rider that a driver has been on the road for the whole day? That would be insane. In short, it is better to say riders cannot know if a driver has been on the road for many hours.
In conclusion, limousines are safer than any taxi or cab services out there. Almost everything about limos are safer than Uber or Lyft rides. Limousine companies have latest model fleets, properly registered and licensed, insured with insurance premiums above state requirements usually in millions of dollars in coverage, chauffeurs are well trained and professional with excellent customer service.
There are so many points that I did not include in this article, but if you think there are important points worth mentioning here, please leave us a comment and we will update this article accordingly.