Con-way Truckload touts best safe driving performance in 21 years

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Con-way Truckload announced today, Jan. 21, that its 3,500 drivers set a company record for safe driving in 2008, reducing the company’s total accident frequency rate by 29 percent over the past four years to a 21-year low. Con-way Truckload’s drivers have reduced the company’s accident frequency every year since 2004, with 2008 coming in 10 percent below 2007 to mark the lowest rate since the company started keeping records in 1987, says Herb Schmidt, Con-way Truckload’s president.

“This is a milestone achievement that really demonstrates how much our drivers keep safety at the forefront every second, minute, hour and day they are behind the wheel,” Schmidt says. “When it comes to safety, our drivers are our most vocal advocates. We set very high standards, and they have proven that they are true professionals who rise to the challenge. That’s good news for our employees and customers, as well as the motoring public that we’re sharing America’s highways with every day.”

The accident frequency milestone is particularly noteworthy given the strict standards the company uses to measure safe driving performance, says Randy Cornell, vice president of safety and recruiting. “Our drivers know that for our company, the definition of an accident is any incident where our vehicle comes in contact with another vehicle or property and causes any visible damage whatsoever – even something as small as a scratch on a bumper,” Cornell says. “That’s a bar that’s set much higher than what regulatory agencies define as a government-reportable accident.”

Based on the company’s definition, Con-way Truckload says its drivers in 2008 averaged 8.7 accidents per million miles driven. Measured by the U.S. Department of Transportation standard for a reportable accident, which is defined as an accident that renders a vehicle inoperable or causes an injury requiring immediate medical attention away from the scene, Con-way Truckload says its 2008 frequency rate was .65, or one accident for every 1.4 million miles driven. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration considers a carrier to be operating safely when it achieves a reportable accident frequency rate of less than 1.50.

The company’s drivers recently were honored at a special ceremony at Con-way Truckload’s headquarters in Joplin, Mo., during a regular monthly safety meeting attended by more than 100 drivers.