Ensuring Your in Safe Hands
As chauffeurs are paid to drive important and rich people around in expensive cars, it’s reasonable to assume that the ‘Law of Supply and Demand’ will ensure that only the very best survive.
Their role is to drive smoothly, quickly, and accurately to shrink the irksome business of moving from A to B via a congested road network that’s clogged with amateurs. Arrogant? Perhaps, but let’s look at some of their secrets to see if there is anything we can learn from them, shall we?
A good chauffeur will plan the forthcoming journey in detail, looking at possible pinch points, traffic jams, and toll roads. They will calculate how long the journey will take and allow a little extra for unforeseen problems.
They will also give their car a quick health check before setting out and keep a few essentials in the boot in case they hit a problem. None of this is exactly rocket science, but how many times have you set off on a long journey with only a vague idea of where you are going and the low-fuel warning light flashing?
Have a Plan B
When you’re planning your route, it’s always worth developing a Plan B.
As London is a major city it is notorious for long running roadworks and associated traffic jams, this is where Google Maps can help – checking it before you leave can help with a plan B. If a delay is too long, then you have an option to divert your route. However, it sometimes can clear when you are leaving but can change as you get closer; by having planned an alternative route before leaving home you can divert without too much hassle, saving me time, money and stress.
A Plan B works for everyday driving too: what would you do if the lorry in front of you shed its load? Or a tractor pulled out of that field? Or the dog on the pavement suddenly dashed out into the road? By processing this information and having a plan to deal with it, you will be able to avoid a significant number of otherwise potentially dangerous situations.
Chauffeurs make it a priority to look further ahead, when driving. This allows them to spot any hazards well before everyone else.
This means that they can change lanes in plenty of time, keeping up their average speed and avoiding the sort of last-minute lane changes that cause accidents and annoy other motorists.
The key is to look as far ahead as you can, scanning back all the way to the car in front. This is a constant cycle – interspersed with frequent mirror and instrument checks – that becomes second nature very quickly.
The one quality that just about every passenger notices when he or she is being driven by a top-flight chauffeur is how smooth the journey is. This is partly a function of the driver looking so far ahead and being able to avoid last-second emergency avoidance but also a reflection of their driving technique.
The best chauffeurs will ease on and off the throttle and steer the car into bends with small, gentle movements of the steering wheel to avoid upsetting the car’s composure.
The very best will also feather the brakes as they come to a halt, releasing the pressure as the car finally stops, enabling their passengers to continue sipping champagne without spilling a drop on the butter-soft leather seats. This last tip is well worth practicing, even if, like mine, your passengers are more likely to be drinking coffee out of a flask!
Finally, chauffeurs are less prone to being distracted than you and I. While I’m not suggesting for a moment that you spend every journey is stony-faced silence, staying focused can be a great trick to adopt.
When a chauffeur is cut-up by a sales executive in their rep-mobile he or she will stay calm and focus on the job in hand, which is getting their client to the final destination as quietly and unobtrusively as they can. They certainly wouldn’t gesticulate and use good Anglo-Saxon language to critique the other driver’s incompetence, would they?