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- Include the driver’s first and last name in your comment.
- Only one vote per person will be counted!
- Votes will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, September 23.
- The winning essay will be announced Monday, September 24.
What Safe Driving Means To Me
I am a transportation specialist who honors the job that I have with Cardinal Logistics as an experienced commercial truck driver. I take pride in performing my job with dignity and respect, all the while traveling the dangerous highways on a daily basis. For me, safe driving is not something that I have to do, but instead is something that I require of myself. I think of not just myself, but the millions of other drivers that are on the roads each day.
For me, preparation is essential. Each day, as I prepare to perform my duties, I incorporate the “5 P’s” principle; “Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.” I prepare daily for my deliveries ahead of time by familiarizing myself with my routes. Although I cannot predict any incidents before they occur, I can prepare myself by taking the necessary steps in trying to prevent them. This includes being familiarized with my load, knowing the area I will be traveling, and checking my equipment for proper functionality amongst others.
For me, safe driving means that I can return home safely without being nor causing hazards for those sharing the roads with me. When being mindful and focused on safe driving, I am able to look out for the drivers that may not be looking out for me. Operating as a safe driver is not something that comes naturally; it is the end result from the constant repetitiveness of safe driving principles. This is my definition of a Safe Driver.
What Safe Driving Means To Me
When the words “safe driving” are mentioned, the first thing that comes to my mind would be life. Not only my life, but the lives of all others on the road are at stake when I get behind the wheel. This is the reason that we are all required to go through safety training for the Smith System at Cardinal prior to stepping into our new position. We are required to perform pre-trip and post-trip inspections on our trucks, to assist in preventing any unnecessary havoc on the roadways, along with attending periodic safety meetings. Cardinal is a company that knows the importance of the safety of the employee and other roadway passengers.
I know from personal experience that safe driving is crucial when getting into my truck and turning the key. I lost my father when I was only eighteen years old to a horrific tractor/trailer accident. At just 36 years of age, my father lost control of his truck over an oil spill created from a truck that he was following. He then went over an embankment, saving the lives of passengers of an oncoming car, unfortunately taking his own.
We all have family members who travel the road at one point in time or another whether they are drivers or passengers of any motorized vehicle. One thing that should come to mind every time that you place your hands on the steering wheel, for personal or professional reasons, you are not only holding that wheel. You are also holding the lives of everyone around you: a daughter, son, mother, father, brother, or sister, in the palm of your hands, which should not be taken for granted.
I utilize all the tools Cardinal provided to me in my everyday driving because I like to go home safe to my family every night that I am on the road. I feel that I do the best I know how as far as safety goes and my record does reflect the same. Safety was, is now and always will be number one in my life.
What Safe Driving Means To Me
Driving while distracted ends lives.
Whether you’re driving in your personal vehicle or a commercial truck, do you ever find yourself wondering where those last few minutes went? You know, those moments where you’re in that dangerously familiar zoned-out state. There are drivers all over America hurtling down the roads in eighty-thousand pound steel cages without thinking about how easily and quickly an accident can happen. To be honest, I was once one of those apathetic drivers. I used to be just plain naive at how simple a collision can occur. Taking the Smith System classes through Cardinal Logistics completely changed my thinking as to how important and easy safe driving is. Before the class, I never thought twice about accidents. Now, I have 100% confidence that every trip I take will be safe.
Any time a driver takes their eyes off the road to change their CD, read a map, or any other activity is considered inattentive driving. In that brief moment their eyes are off the road, traffic could be screeching to a halt. Unfortunately, inattentive drivers won’t know because they’re too busy switching from talk radio to their CD. In the worst case scenario, once all the steel is done crunching and the smoke has cleared, the inattentive driver’s trip will have ended in tears, shattering lives.
The trend of traffic deaths in the United States in the past sixteen years is in a rapid decline. Besides troubling upturns in 2002 and 2005, traffic fatalities from 1996 through 2010 have declined every year. There were about nine-thousand less fatalities on American roadways in 2010 than in 1996. This figure is even more surprising when you take into account that the United States population expanded to over twenty six-million more people! Even with these numbers going in the right direction, there is no reason the trend shouldn’t be dropping at a much quicker rate. Given the fact that just paying attention is so simple, zero deaths on American roads should be our goal.
Your safe driving is the most important part of your career: for yourself, your family, and everyone you meet on the highways.
Every vehicle driving right now is eventually going to stop. We should be sure it’s us, the professional drivers, who are the ones in control of it before a stationary object “steps in.”
What Safety Means to Me
Safe driving should be a universal standard and practiced by every driver on the roadways from the cyclist to the truck driver. The stakes are too high in this game of man versus machine. A mistake in judgment can drastically change the life and future of those involved in an accident.
As a Cardinal Logistics truck driver, I observe a lot of unsafe acts throughout my daily journey, mainly on the highways. People have the tendency to cut drivers off, tailgate, no signaling during lane changes and many other unsafe acts. We live in a fast pace society where get it done now is the standard mode of doing things and that trait is exhibited in our driving habits.
Cardinal Logistics has implemented several safety training courses for their employees such as the Smith System training which focus on such skills as backing correctly, and entering and exiting the truck properly.
I would like to see the Smith System training become a prerequisite for obtaining a driver’s license. This training teaches a person how to drive proficient and safe, and how to handle dangerous situations.
Being a safe driver means I must take care of myself, stay physical fit, eat well and get the proper amount of rest. Reaction time can play an important role in avoiding an unsafe situation.
Being a safe driver means I look at my path of travel and visualize the “what ifs.” That is, what can go wrong? Are tail lights flashing? Do I see a potential unsafe driver? Am I entering a work zone?
Safety for me is to be able to leave home, go to work, perform my work responsibilities according to company standards and return home.
Safe driving means driving like you have a family member in every vehicle you meet.
What Safe Driving Means to Me
There are various definitions of what safe driving means to me. Recently a tragic accident happened that took the life of a close family member. So the term safe driving has a new meaning in my life.
One definition starts with planning and being prepared. Planning how you’re going to get to your destination is half the battle; you don’t have to worry, while driving, about the route that you are going to travel. Being prepared is making sure your vehicle is sound enough to travel, such as fuel is topped off, other fluids are topped off as well, all of the lights work and items are secured as not to roll around.
Another definition is being aware of our surroundings. Situational Awareness, and/or lack of Situational Awareness, is a common factor in most motor vehicle accidents attributed to human error. Lacking awareness has potentially deadly results! Let’s stop to think about that for a moment. By not paying attention to your surroundings you may miss that ball rolling into the street, the tow truck driver or police officer on the side of the road that you could have had moved over for.
Did you know that a vehicle travelling at 60 mph is moving at 88 feet per second? That means if for one second you take your eyes off the road, you could have rear ended that suddenly stopped car, or that kid chasing that ball could have been injured; all this by not paying attention to your surroundings for one second. You alone can control your environment in which you operate a motor vehicle.
Safe driving also means doing the right thing by choosing to follow the rules of the road! Unsafe driving has become an accepted part of our culture. We speed, we send text messages while driving, and we also cut off the corners of the road while turning to “beat the oncoming traffic”. Why is that? Are we constantly in a rush?
So putting this all together, safe driving means to be prepared, be aware of your surroundings, and choosing to do the right thing. Safety is everyone’s responsibility. Without it, lives get ruined, property is lost, and sometimes people don’t come home.