New Jersey residents know that drivers here are among the most aggressive in the country. Therefore, traveling the New Jersey Turnpike or other major roadways can be a harrowing experience, even in a standard sized car.
Now, imagine traveling the East Coast (including the New York metro) in a big rig for thousands of miles each week. Is it inevitable that all truck drivers will be involved in a truck accident sooner or later? Based on the excellent driving record of one model driver, the answer is a resounding “no.”
A recent news article tells the story of a 70-year-old Pennsylvania-based truck driver who has spent nearly 40 years in the business. Recently, he celebrated a major accomplishment: traveling more than 3 million miles without an accident.
A handful of other truck drivers have logged just as many accident-free miles. However, this man’s routes contain a high volume of dangerous traffic, and include the New York/New Jersey metropolitan areas and the rest of the East Coast.
Additionally, he has managed to keep a completely clean driving record while regularly carrying hazardous materials.
To thank him for his efforts, the trucking company he works for presented him with his own truck tractor and a new leather jacket. On the jacket is a patch that reads “Three Million Miles Safe Driving.”
It is important to highlight this man’s accomplishments for several reasons. First, many of us have been in at least one small fender bender after logging only a fraction of the miles this trucker has driven. Therefore, his safety record is noteworthy among all drivers.
But more importantly, his service record shows that truck accidents are not a statistical, foregone conclusion. It is true that 18-wheelers are large and must often navigate treacherous traffic. But many truck accidents especially in Michigan are caused by driver fatigue, driver negligence, inadequate vehicle maintenance or other preventable factors.
However, as this man’s career illustrates, a qualified and attentive driver can log millions of miles on the road without incident. That kind of distinguished service is a story worth telling.