Are you driving a billboard?
What do you notice most, drivers of cars driving poorly or drivers of commercial vehicles driving poorly? Which stands out the most? Personally, any driver who drives poorly stands out to me, but I do this for a living. I have to notice this so I can properly prepare my students. A few years ago I did some re-training for a company that drove around the city on a regular basis. Their fleet manager reminded each driver that they all drove a billboard and they should respect that. It was easy for the general public to notice them and it could hurt their business. Good point. Are you driving a billboard?
As a driving instructor, we’ve got signs on our vehicles too. A roof sign makes it easy to stand out in traffic. How much credibility would we have if the public saw us drive with our arm hanging out the window? I mean, aren’t we supposed to teach people the proper way to drive? What if we cut corners while making turns? What does that show the public? The same can be said about professional drivers of all types.
Would you hire a moving company to move your belongings if you saw them drive recklessly? I can see my belongings getting damaged now as I write this. What about a courier who weaves in and out of traffic? If they got into a crash your packages wouldn’t necessarily arrive on time. If you saw them drive poorly, would that influence your decision about using their services? It would for me.
Personally, I think that as we drive vehicles with signage on the outside we tend to forget that we’re representing the company we’re working for. The company can gain or lose future or present customers because of the image we’re presenting as we drive. When I’ve been driving, drivers have cut me off with vehicles that have huge signs on the outside. It’s very easy to remember who they were. The other day I witnessed a commercial driver yelling at another motorist when they were stopped in traffic. I’m sure the other motorist would tell a lot of people they know what happened. Would that affect the business of that company? Maybe.
What about people who don’t have signage on their vehicle? Are they driving a billboard too? They could be. I’ve had students of mine tell me they’ve seen me drive through their neighbourhood. I ask them if I was with a student and they tell me I wasn’t, and that I didn’t have any signs on my car. They just recognized the vehicle because they’ve seen it a few times. What if I was driving unprofessionally? I’m sure my students would think less of me as their instructor. They may even tell their friends about it.
The bottom line is this; drive responsibly regardless of what vehicle you’re driving. You never know if big brother’s watching you!