Dealing With Others – As a driver you are an ambassador for your company to the general public. People will often make snap decisions on how you present yourself and their impression of you can quickly lose or gain business for your company. Whether you’re dealing with the customers you transport, a Department of Transportation inspector, other motorists, or the general public remember these simple rules:

• Treat people in the way you would like them to treat you. Be respectful and act businesslike at all times. Even when you’re having a bad day, you still need to endear yourself. Importantly, always thank the customer for his or her business.
• Greet others with a warm, sincere smile. Make good eye contact as well. And if it’s your first time to a particular customer location, introduce yourself properly, clearly state your reason for being there and perhaps engage in brief, but pleasant small talk. Doing so, builds trust and makes customers feel good about doing business with your company.
• Watch your language. The business environment is not the place for colorful or profane language or tasteless jokes.
• Follow company procedures in handling inquiries or complaints. Listen carefully to help seek the best possible solution. Importantly, avoid becoming defensive if confronted about a problem.
• Remain knowledgeable of company procedures and services. Any information that can be provided will certainly make a positive impact on others.

Drive With Courtesy –  Your vehicle serves as a rolling billboard for your company. As such, it’s important to abide by the laws of the road and do what you can to be a courteous and safety-conscious driver. For instance:

• Maintain a safe following distance. Drivers get uneasy when they feel another vehicle is moving in on them, particularly a large commercial vehicle.
• Obey the posted speed limit. The posted speed limit is the maximum speed you should drive in good conditions. Never try to intimidate others who are following it.
• Allow others to pass. Stay to the right if there’s more than one lane so others can pass you safely and easily. If you are passing, be sure to inform other motorists of your intent.
• Signal your intentions. Be clear in signaling your intentions far enough in advance to give other drivers ample time to react safely.
• Avoid unnecessary lane changes. Very rarely will they get you to your destination any faster. However, unnecessary lane changes will increase your chances of an accident.
• Resist the urge to get even when other drivers’ actions irritate you. Your negative reactions could make a situation even more unsafe. While your careful driving may go unnoticed, inattentive or rude driving will be noted and long remembered.

As an individual who spends many stress-filled hours behind the wheel week after week, it’s very easy to lose your cool and act unprofessionally. However, you’re not only representing yourself or the company you drive for, but the entire industry. People will remember the particularly good or bad things about your actions, the appearance of your vehicle, and how safely you are operating.