Let’s Meet Our Players This Round

Driver Dave (Stock photo)

First up let’s meet Dave! Say Hello Dave! Dave’s a good guy, always does his pre-trip, checks his truck and load daily. Dave gets plenty of sleep at night, has had the same schedule for year. All in all Dave is the perfect driver, knows his route and is always prepared. Dependable and predictable. Knows his truck and it’s limits. Thanks for coming out Dave!

Chuck is the next guy I want you to meet. Now Chuck, he’s our party guy! We aren’t talking the college party guy, we are talking the guy who is up way to late drinking and getting into trouble. He is up for whatever his friends bring in and is willing to try just about anything that comes his way. Last night was one such night for Chuck, which seems to be a regular occurrence. Chuck is working on 2hrs of sleep, 4 energy drinks and a thermos of straight black coffee…most times he shows up to work in the same clothes he had on when he left. Chuck will tell you that he’s fine to handle that overweight load, he has it all under control.

Now Let’s meet Jerry! ”Oh Jerry my guy, what are you doing?” Jerry is never sober, like, NEVER Ever. To Jerry not being drunk is a horrible thought. He doesn’t seem unhappy but then you just never know do you? Today Jerry woke up in his truck and to be sure he isn’t clear if he even made it home last night or not. He definitely can’t tell you how long he slept, or truly if he even did. However, he is in the cab of the truck and it’s running so he is ready to roll!

Last but certainly not least is Pete! Pete is a good guy, most guys around the terminal like Pete, he’s fairly personable and an all around good guy. Pete always is a great friend and seems happy go lucky! His truck is clean and maintained and everything is shiny. But as of recently Pete has become very withdrawn and quiet. Last night his wife called to tell him not to come home, and that they were no longer together. Pete’s been up all night, talking on the phone trying to change her mind and gain control of his sinking emotional state. Now work is starting and he’s had the same dark thoughts going through his brain since he got off the phone. Does this truck float? Not good for Pete, not good at all.

Now comes the big question……..Ready?

Who is in which truck?

Oh my, that’s a tough one isn’t It? Do you even know if they are in any of these trucks? Are there worse drivers in these trucks? You really have no way to know, the only thing you can control is you and how closely you follow.

So let me ask a different question….whose the most dangerous truck in this situation pictured above? How can you decide. Remember that it takes a football field to stop these moving vehicles going at least 60 MPH.

Following to close brings up far to many chances to get into some serious problem. Is the guy in front good or not so good? What about the guy in front of him? Give yourself some room, leave the space to react Now the reason I introduced you to all these guys. While each one has their attributes, be them good or bad. If they follow to closely, and someone stops short in front of them, they could crash and hurt someone. As a CDL holder, we are responsible for the motoring public. It doesn’t matter which one of our crew you are, if you follow to closely you are setting yourself up for failure. However, lets look at what each of our guys has that is working against them without following to closely: 1) Dave: while he seems to be our picture perfect driver, always focused and well rested, with solid equipment, if he follows to closely none of that matters. 2) Chuck: His reaction time is slower due to lack of sleep and his focus is less due to that lack of sleep. So if he is off his game, it is only a matter of time before he gets to close to the guy in front of him. 3) Jerry: This crew member is not only driving illegally because he is intoxicated, his reaction time is that much slower. He can’t stop that vehicle in time due to his slower reaction time. Last but not least 4) Pete: While Pete is normally a jovial sort, he is not focused due to the situation in his life that he has going on. Just one slip of not paying attention and he could hurt himself and someone else. This is only one of many situations that could happen. Snow, Ice, traffic, construction, the list goes on and on. Different situations can and will occur, this doesn’t help out each driver unless they are safety conscious. I’m not the one in the truck with you, do it for yourself and others around you. When you practice safe driving everyone get’s home safe. Our safety director has a saying. Safety is a full time practice, Please don’t make it a part time concern.

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