Listen: Driving Rules for House Cleaners and Maids
Watch: Driving Rules for House Cleaners and Maids
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer.
Question: My cleaning partner wrecked my car – who pays and what are the driving rules?
Well, today’s question is an ugly question. There’s just no way around it, but it’s an ugly question. And it comes from a house cleaner we’re going to call Kathy.
Bonnie and Kathy work together and they are leaving a client’s house in Kathy’s car. Bonnie is driving. As they back out of the driveway, Bonnie smashes the car into a neighbors car across the street. Wrecking both Kathy’s car and the neighbors.
Kathy’s question is ‘who pays for the damage?”
Answer: Driving Rules for House Cleaners and Maids
Okay, so the answer to that question is, whoever’s car it is, that is who is going to pay for the damage. So, Kathy if it’s your car that smashed into the neighbor’s car, your insurance is going to pay for the neighbor’s car and it’s going to pay for your car.
I’m sorry, there’s no good way around that.
Now, if you pay a deductible on your insurance, you may want to see if Bonnie will pay for that. Sometimes they’ll add points to your insurance and that will jack your rates up. Maybe she’ll pay the difference of what you’re paying now and what your new rate will be. So, if it’s $500 more per year for your car insurance because she backed into the neighbor’s car. Maybe she’ll pay the $500 difference that is going to affect your insurance.
So, I don’t like the question because it is really sticky.
Driving Rules #1 – Don’t Let Anyone Else Drive Your Car
If you’re driving your car, you have complete control over how you drive. But if someone else is driving your car, they could be more reckless than you.
I’m not sure how she didn’t see the car on the other side of the street. But if you’re driving out of someone’s house, you should look with the eyes, and say “Oh, yes, there’s a car there. I should make sure that I don’t back into it.”
Now that we’re talking about driving, there are a couple of driving etiquette tips for house cleaners.
And right now, I find that it’s a good segue to mention them without sounding like I’m whining.
We’re All In A Hurry
Housecleaners have a tendency to be in a hurry. We have deadlines we’re supposed to meet, and we have a tendency to always rush around because we are always in a hurry.
We work fast, we get to the next house fast and we deliver our services in a very efficient manner. However, that rule does not apply to driving.
When you are zipping through a neighborhood at 50 miles an hour and the speed limit is 25 miles an hour, there may not be a policeman that is in that neighborhood waiting for you.
However, there are small children. There are kids at school bus stops.
Driving Rules #2 – Please Slow Down In Neighborhoods
There are pedestrians out walking their dog. And when they see the house cleaner come flying through a neighborhood at maximum speed they get on the phone really quickly and they call the number that is on the car or on the magnet.
They say “Listen, there were house cleaners speeding through my neighborhood today and that is not safe.”
So, it’s a really bad advertisement for your business when you don’t drive safely. Another thing I have to mention are neighborhood stop signs.
They are there for a reason.
And it is a law that you stop at them.
Driving Rules #3 Stop at Stop Signs – They Are There For A Reason
And so, if you’re driving through a neighborhood and there are stop signs, don’t just blow right on through. Stop.
We had a house cleaner about four months ago run a stop sign. She was in a neighborhood but skipped stopping a stop sign because she was in a big hurry. And as she sped through the stop sign, she ran right into a UPS truck.
And it was completely her fault because she did not stop.
There are times, and I know we’re in a hurry.
We are not too in a hurry to drive safely.
Driving Rules #4 – No Loud Music
It’s annoying when house cleaners and maids roll down the car windows and blare their music at 200 decibels. That’s just obnoxious and it’s a bad advertisement for your business.
I’m all for listening to upbeat music to set the tone for your next appointment, but if it’s getting complaints, turn it down.
There is still a generation or two that will consider you a punk for rocking out while their kids are napping and they won’t hire you or anyone in your company. Don’t be that guy or girl.
Driving Rules #5 – Slow Down Starting With You
I invite you to take a really deep breath. And just calm down. Sure, you’re in a hurry but realize that you saved yourself enough time to get from here to the next house safely.
Because if you arrive at the next house and you arrive quietly and on time and with composure, you bring that mood into people’s homes.
“Hi, I’m here to help clean your house and make your life better.”
But when you show up and you’re stressed out and you’ve rushed around, you’re anxious and you’re trying to get there on time – Whoa!
You come off as being really intense. And that is not what people are paying for. They’re not paying for intense, stressed out, anxiety filled house cleaners.
Driving Rules #6 – 2 MPH in Driveways and Parking Lots
And when you’re backing out the driveway, the rule of thumb is 2 miles per hour. If you will back out slowly, you’re not run into any people walking by with dogs.
You’re not going to run into any other cars. You’re going to be able to go slow enough that you can check what’s behind you.
Don’t wait until you have an accident to learn to drive safely.
Don’t Wait Until An Accident to Learn Safe Driving Rules
This whole situation with Kathy and Bonnie is unfortunate. I am guessing Bonnie feels horrible about it, and if she’s to pay Kathy for the to the car it will probably end their friendship. If she doesn’t pay or make some sort of attempt to repair the loss, it will create undue stress and tension between her and Kathy.
So either way, it doesn’t look promising for either of the maids that were involved in the accident.
Quick Recap About Housekeepers and Driving Rules
- The car you drive is part of your company image and brand. Make sure it’s clean.
- Don’t let anyone else drive your car.
- When you drive, go the speed limit.
- Stop at stop signs, stop lights and yield to pedestrians and animals.
- No earsplitting music in quiet neighborhoods.
- Arrive a couple minutes early. Arrive calm, and well put together, this will help you avoid accidents. And you can avoid the anxiety that you bring into people’s homes.
- 2 Miles Per Hour in driveways and parking lots
- Always look behind you before backing up.
Work Smart Not Hard
So, Kathy, I’m so sorry that this happened to you. It is regrettable.
Alright, that’s my tip for today. And if you found it helpful, please pass it along.
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