How He Does It
Smith was named Driver of the Year by the Truckload Carriers Association. He told the Times-Gazette he has a simple philosophy when it comes to his driving habits – keep it careful, slow and steady. He said that he is always committed to not only planning ahead for each trip, but also always being prepared for what other vehicles may do on the road at any time. Every day, he carefully checks his rig to make sure it is fit for the road. Smith said he also makes sure he tells new drivers about maintaining good safety habits.
In addition, he takes his rig to area high schools, giving students a first-hand look at a large truck. He tells them the importance of being safe when sharing the road with a truck, such as how long it takes a fully-loaded rig (up to 80,000 pounds) to stop, and how much space a commercial truck needs to turn.
In order to be considered for the award, according to the article, drivers must not only have a perfect safety record and drive at least 1 million accident-free miles, they must also be involved in their community. It’s safe to say that Smith fits the bill perfectly.
A Tough Job
Smith and many other truck drivers are intensely committed to safety. However, in some instances, trucking companies place unrealistic scheduling burdens on them. As a result, some drivers push themselves far too hard in order to meet their deadlines – and devastating, often-fatal accidents can occur.