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Why the safest taxi drivers in Honolulu were involved in many major accidents

Why the safest taxi drivers in Honolulu were involved in many major accidents

eTurboNews -

Every driver working for Charley’s taxi company in Honolulu most likely was involved in several major car accidents. You’ll be surprised to learn Charley’s Taxi, together with all their passengers, agree this is a good thing.

All accidents happened while drivers were receiving training in a safety simulator, and no one ever got hurt. It actually made Charley’s one of the safest taxi companies in the business. Calling 808-233-3333 for a taxi in Waikiki or the rest of Oahu means you’ll get a pilot as a driver.

With traffic deaths on an alarming rise in Honolulu, the second largest taxi operation on the island, Charley’s Taxi, has been outspoken about safety more than any commercial transportation company. With tourist arrivals booming, keeping visitors safe should be a priority for lawmakers and the travel and tourism industry.

Charley’s CEO, Dale Evans, often questions safety regulation that applies for ride-share companies like Uber. Dale now went an extra step that hardly any taxi company in the world would invest in and requires drivers to undergo a training only pilots would usually expect to go through. Perhaps this is an initiative other taxi companies in the world should look at.

In some countries, taxi drivers have to be able to control their cars on ice. There is no problem with ice on Hawaii’s roads, but Hawaii has some of the roughest roads in the United States and floodings are an ongoing occurrence. On the island of Oahu, Charley’s Taxi goes a step further in increasing safety for its passengers.

Since March, the company’s VIRAGE VS500 Driving Simulator has been used to train more than 240 Charley’s drivers. The drivers completed the simulator’s “distracted driving” scenario, which simulates the real-world dangers and consequences for drivers who take their eyes off the road or hands off the wheel.

In 2016, Charley’s initiated an enhanced driver safety program for its drivers, which included classroom and ride-along training with driving instructors certified by the National Safety Council. Charley’s also installed security cameras in taxis in order to more accurately determine the cause of accidents and assign fault.

The effort resulted in a 51 percent reduction in insurance losses to Charley’s due to accidents in 2017.

The simulator puts drivers behind the wheel in an immersive, interactive road or highway environment in an urban or rural setting that can simulate dozens of different driving scenarios.

The simulator is equipped with an analytics program that reports accidents and near-accidents and assigns an estimated minimum cost for damages that occur during the training drive.

With the driving simulator, Charley’s President and CEO Dale Evans expects to see further reductions in losses attributed to accidents and incidents involving Charley’s drivers.

“Most of our veteran drivers thought it was a game,” said Evans. “But once they saw their statistics, it woke them up.

Dale Evans, Charley's TaxiDale Evans, Charley’s Taxi

“Charley’s has always been dedicated to passenger safety as well as safety for our drivers, pedestrians, and other drivers,” Evans said. “This technology furthers our desire to offer the safest driving experience possible. Actually, we are the leader in ground transportation technology and logistics in Hawaii.”

Next up for drivers in Charley’s National Safety Council classes this year are scenarios that train against following too closely, and that teach how to change lanes more safely.

Charley’s envisions marketing its driving simulator to other Hawaii businesses that operate fleet vehicles as a tool they can use to lower their loss ratios due to accidents.

The simulator may also be used in physical and occupational therapy, where it would become part of a rehabilitation program for patients.

Charley’s is Hawaii’s oldest and second in size taxi and limousine service company in Hawaii.

Charley’s operates Oahu’s newest premium taxi fleet, has the most professionally trained drivers, and offers flat-rate fares between destinations such as the Airport and Waikiki, Disney’s Aulani, Pearl Harbor and Oahu’s military bases, providing clear and affordable pricing for visitors and residents.   

Do you prefer a pilot to drive you in Honolulu?

To request a pilot next time you need a taxi in Waikiki, call Charley’s Taxi at 808-233-3333.

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