Winter Road Safety Tips You Need to Stay Cool

In true St. Louis tradition, we experienced seasons as unpredictable as ever, especially throughout the last few months. Much of fall felt like spring, and several days in December felt like fall.

When it doesn’t feel like winter, we are more likely to overlook winter road safety preparations. In addition to the regularly surprising weather conditions, our high population of drivers makes road safety a crucial responsibility. We’ve gathered some tips from sources including the National Safety Council and Consumer Reports and as well as some of our own that will help ease the stress of winter road navigation.

  1. Understand your vehicle’s safety features & get them inspected.

It is crucial to not only make sure your vehicle’s safety features are working, but also to understand their mechanics. The National Safety Council lists the most important safety systems for winter driving:

  • Ignition
  • Brakes
  • Wiring
  • Hoses and fan belts
  • Spark plugs
  • Air, fuel and emissions filters, and PCV valve
  • Distributor
  • Battery
  • Tire wear and air pressure
  • Antifreeze level and freeze line
  1. Take advantage of real-time ways to keep up with weather conditions.

Weather is not static. The conditions before you get behind the wheel can change-fast. Apps are one of the most common, user-friendly ways to track weather conditions. The Missouri Department of Transportation offers a Traveler Information Map App, a map that monitors changing road conditions like snow levels, and whether or not a road is opened or closed. Remember to keep your eyes on the road, though, instead of your phone.

Traffic Jam in the Snow

  1. Work on your slide

Skidding across an icy road is one of the most unnerving driving experiences, but did you know that, with proper technique, you can minimize sliding? As per Consumer Reports, the safest way to slide, is to “steer into it.” First, you should gently decelerate. Then “turn steering the wheel in the direction that the car is sliding.” This will straighten out the car, improve your tires’ grip, and decrease risking an accident.

Your Car’s BEST Safety Feature

Remember that, despite the risks of winter driving, there is one reason to minimize fear or frustration. The National Safety Council puts it best:”You are your car’s best safety feature.” The proper preparations will help you take charge of your own safety, even in high-stress situations. Stay knowledgeable, practice safe, patient driving, and you can gain peace of mind on the road.

 

 

 

 

Halloween Hazards You Probably Aren’t Thinking About

It’s fun to take in the thrills and chills of Halloween, but only if the dangers are all pretend. October 31st always brings heavy pedestrian traffic, especially children who are dressed in dark colors and experiencing a full-on sugar rush.  Do your part to reduce the risk of real-life scary stories by being extra vigilant.

HalloweenSafety

1. Discuss road safety with your kids
The excitement of the celebration might distract your kids from what they already know about road safety.  After all, even though your son normally stays in the crosswalk, once he puts on that Superman costume, all bets are off.  A brief review before even leaving the house could help prevent them from taking off running across the road.

2. Help to make sure children stay visible after dark
If your house is on the trick-or-treat route, pass out fun items that help children stand out to motorists, such as reflective arm bands, tape, or glow sticks.  If you’re guiding a group of ghouls around the neighborhood, bring some light-up gear with you.

3. Put your phone away
You can’t foresee every potential accident.  Likewise, you can’t guarantee a moment of safety long enough to check your texts.  Whether walking or driving, keep your eyes on your surroundings and your kids.

4. Beware of…your candy bag
Never accept candy that is not factory-packaged or appears to have been tampered with.  Likewise, be wary of baked goods and other such items from strangers.  Keep an eye out for torn packaging, loose wrappers, or anything in a baggie.

Trick or Treaters Are Here!

Even if you don’t have kids, you can keep others safe by driving more mindfully:

1. Actively look for children on the road.
Children are more than twice as likely to be hit by a vehicle on Halloween. Anticipate accidents before they happen by slowing down through neighborhoods and keeping a close eye on pedestrians.

2. Turn your headlights on earlier than normal.
Visibility is important both ways – vehicles need to be visible to pedestrians too. If you have manual headlights, consider turning them on earlier than normal as an extra precaution.

3. Beat the Trick-or-Treat: avoid high-traffic travel times
The most popular time range for trick-or-treating is 5:30-9:30pm.  If possible, avoid driving through neighborhoods during these times.

Nothing is scarier than injury to a loved one, but some small precautions, though basic, can make an incredible difference.  That’s the sweetest treat of all!

 

BEST Transportation, St. Louis County & Yellow Cab, and GO BEST Express comprise a family of companies that is committed to providing above-industry-standard transportation solutions for every need. It’s more than just point “A” to point “B” service. It’s about the experience. 

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2016 Hospitality Hero – Kamar Harleem & Admir Smajic

Kamar Harleem - 2016 Hospitality Hero with Mayor Slay

Kamar Harleem being congratulated by Mayor Francis Slay for representing St. Louis with class, dignity and professionalism as a taxi driver with St. Louis County Cab Company.

The definition of hero, a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities, applies to both men who have been selected to receive the honor of Hospitality Hero by Explore St. Louis.  Kamar Harleem and Admir Smajic were chosen for separate acts of heroism that each of them performed in service to the community.  We, at St. Louis County Cab, congratulate and honor Kamar and Admir for being outstanding gentlemen and taxi drivers.

Kamar Harleem was chosen for his life-saving act of heroism on January 13, 2016.  As was told to us by a passenger and long-time customer, Kamar spotted a young man lying behind a vehicle next to the road.  Recognizing that there was a person in distress, Kamar calmly but quickly turned around and returned to the person in need.  The young man was in the midst of a seizure which was brought on by a serious medical condition for which he was being treated.  Kamar’s ability to remain calm and make the right decisions at every critical turn allowed for emergency treatment to be south, provided and to end this story in a positive way.  When asked about these events, Kamar hesitated to describe his involvement.  He didn’t want this recognition for what he did.  He did it simply because it was the right thing to do and he was in the position to do what was right when it was needed.  For this, Kamar Harleem is a 2016 Hospitality Hero as chosen by Explore St. Louis.

2016 Hospitality Hero - Kamar Harleem

Kamar Harleem is a proud Hospitality Hero!

Admir was chosen Hospitality Hero for a less dramatic but no less heroic event in January.  This event is best described by the customer who submitted it to us:  “Please thank driver Admir of Cab #626 for driving us home from St. Clair Hospital today (1/9/16, 11:00 a.m.) during the brief but ugly snow squall. My husband was discharged from the hospital with a heavily-bandaged, non-weight- bearing foot following serious surgery. In fact the trip began by keeping Admir waiting outside while the nurses finished their work and brought us down. Sorry for the delay! Our driveway is short but very steep and slick when it snows. Admir was able to back his vehicle part way up, and then pushed my husband’s wheelchair up-hill through the extremely slippery snow and slush into the dry garage. This took strength and determination, and he was also concerned for my safety as I made my way on foot. Finally, he saw us safely up a short flight of stairs into the kitchen and made sure that my husband was seated in a chair. Truly this was not just courteous, it was heroic! Please let him know what an important role he played in our lives today.” Most sincerely, Cathy (age 68) and Thomas (age 67), Grateful Passengers

Heroism takes on many forms in our lives.  Sometimes it is a dramatic act during extraordinary circumstances.  Most often, heroism is an extraordinary act during non-dramatic circumstances.  What remains consistent is that heroes exist everywhere and in every occupation.  Kamar and Admir, you were both heroes to people in a time of need.  You make yourselves, your families, us and your industry proud!

Jerry Hanks – 43 Years Of Outstanding Service!

Jerry Hanks

Jerry and Norma Jean Hanks with County Cab President, Basil Rudawsky

Over 50 years ago, while serving as a young man in the United States Air Force in New Mexico, Jerry Hanks met a young lady whom he married a short time later.  Over the past 51 years of marriage, Jerry and Norma Jean Hanks have built a lifetime of memories together.  For Jerry, the proudest of those memories are the 9 children that they raised.  43 of those 51 years, Jerry spent driving a cab with us.  Jerry has decided to hang up his cab keys and retire.  They have decided to return to Norma Jean’s home state of New Mexico. They plan to spend their time with family, friends and relaxing.

Jerry is a warm, friendly character who is always quick with a smile and to say something nice.  He tells many fond stories of his 43 years as a driver.  What Jerry remembers most fondly are the people: the customers, his fellow drivers and the Gregerson family. During his 43 years driving a cab, Jerry Hanks logged over 2 million miles with an impeccable safety record that he is extremely proud of.  The calls that we’ve received through the years about Jerry all reflect the strong, ethical,  and dignified man that we know and respect.

Today, we celebrate Jerry’s retirement along with his and Norma Jean’s return to New Mexico.  While we will miss Jerry’s professionalism and his warm and friendly demeanor, we wish him a happy, healthy and relaxing retirement.  Let someone else drive now, Jerry!

Meet Larry Jenkins – A County Cab Classic

Larry and his classic County Cab smile!

Larry and his classic County Cab smile!

In July of 1983, Larry Jenkins started driving a cab for St. Louis County Cab Company.  It took him about a week to decide that this was the place that he wanted to be.  So, after having driven at County Cab for 3 weeks, Larry asked to put his own car on the fleet and to become a cab owner/operator.  Just like that, Larry Jenkins became the first minority cab owner/operator in County Cab’s fleet.

Over the past 32 years, Larry has built an extremely successful business as a cab owner/operator in St. Louis.  When you ask him about it, he gets very emotional recounting the things that he has accomplished in his life.  But, he will tell you that his greatest accomplishment in life has been his family.  Larry has been married to his wife Carol for 40 years.  He has 3 children and 4 grandchildren, all of whom make him light up with pride.  One of his daughters, Christy, worked her way through college at Washington University as an agent in the Care Center at County Cab.  She is now a nurse educator.  His son, Rosethnu, played wide receiver for the Mizzou football team and his daughter, Erin, graduated from UM-St. Louis and works at United Health Care.  Anyone who knows Larry knows how proud he is of being a cab driver with St. Louis County Cab Company.

Larry & His New Cab

Larry & His New Cab

As Larry puts into service the 8th cab of his career, we want to recognize him for being an outstanding husband, father, grandfather, cab driver and representative of County Cab!