Football has the Heisman, actors have the Oscars and academics, the Noble Prize. It seems every profession has a “Best of the Best” or “Hall of Fame” award to strive toward. For professional drivers at Continental Express, the most respected goal to meet is driving one million, accident-free miles.
In the past twenty years, an impressive forty Continental Express drivers have been awarded the prestigious One Million Mile Safe Driver Award. Just six CE drivers hold a Two Million Mile Safe Driver Award and two drivers dominate the safety arena, bringing home the coveted Three Million Mile Safe Driver Award. The purpose of this high-mileage safe driver award is to recognize and honor the company’s most elite, safe drivers.
On average, it takes a professional driver at Continental Express seven years to drive one million miles. In other words, many of the drivers above have spent years—even decades—working on reaching one million accident-free miles. Driving a million miles alone takes a lot of grit and determination, but doing it accident-free and safely is certainly not an easy accomplishment.
Continental Express talked with a few of their million-mile safe drivers and asked for their best piece of advice on how a driver can achieve the same honor. Their responses fall into a few categories: eliminating distractions, speed & following distance, and decision-making.
“Watch your surroundings all of the time – don’t let your mind wander.”
Drivers are constantly fed information by social media, news, radio, email, phone calls, and text messages. When drivers aren’t behind the wheel of a semi-truck, these distractions can be fun and exciting. However, drivers on the road are called to be sensitive to safety, and distractions become dangerous and must be avoided. To avoid these dangers, commercial drivers need to be experts at learning how to control these temptations and limit their distractions while they are on duty or behind the wheel.
“Very simply, make sure your speed and following distance are in line with the conditions of the road.”
Managing your speed and following distance is critical to hitting one million safe miles. Remember, conditions of the road are not exclusive to the weather. Road conditions include terrain, traffic, construction and weather. By being attentive to your speed in parking lots, ramps, and highways, you will be able to avoid many unsafe situations, which will only add safe miles to your record. Just remember, it starts with the first mile! One of CE million mile drivers suggests, “Treat the drivers around you like they are your family. DON’T damage your family.”
“Safety is not an accident. It is the 100 to 1000, seemingly insignificant, decisions you make every day.”
While being safe means avoiding accidents, taking your time, and checking your mirrors, it can also be so much more. Doing proper pre-trip inspections, securing your freight, waiting to change lanes until traffic clears, and getting out and looking while backing are some of the many decisions drivers make daily. All of these decisions add up day after day and week by week to create habits that focus on safety.
Continental Express would like to thank all of our million-mile safe drivers and million miles safe drivers across the entire trucking industry for their attentiveness on the road. To those who are trucking towards their first safe million-mile award, remember safety starts with the first mile!