Con-way Truckload announced that it set a 22-year safety record in 2009, reducing its total accident frequency rate by nearly 34 percent since 2004. The Joplin, Mo.-based company’s accident frequency has been dropping steadily over the past five years, with the most recent rates representing the lowest since the company began keeping records in 1987.
“I would like to congratulate Con-way Truckload on this significant achievement in safety,” says Bill Graves, president and chief executive officer of the American Trucking Associations. “Con-way Truckload’s record demonstrates their commitment to safety on the road for their drivers and for the motoring public.”
Con-way Truckload’s reduction in accident frequency is especially notable given the strictness of the criteria it uses to measure safety performance. “Our company considers an accident any incident where one of our vehicles comes in contact with another vehicle or property resulting in visible damage, even as minor as a small scratch,” says Randy Cornell, vice president of safety and recruiting. “Other standards used in the industry typically define an accident as an incident involving injury or significant damage.”
By Con-way Truckload’s definition, the company’s drivers averaged 7.9 accidents per million miles driven in 2009. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines a reportable accident as an occurrence that renders a vehicle inoperable or causes an injury requiring immediate medical assistance away from the scene. By that standard, the company’s 2009 accident frequency rate was .628, or one accident for every 1.6 million miles driven — a 3.1 percent improvement over last year. According to FMCSA standards, a carrier is operating safely when its accident frequency rate is less than 1.50.
“This is a tremendous achievement by our drivers and a real measure of their commitment to safety in everything they do,” says Herb Schmidt, company president. “We maintain the highest safety standards at Con-way Truckload, and our drivers live up to that challenge every day as they represent the company on America’s highways. This is great news for us, our customers and the public.”
Con-way Truckload honored its drivers for their safety achievement in a recent ceremony at its Joplin headquarters. During the event, they watched a video of Cornell skydiving — a challenge from the drivers he had promised to undertake if they met their annual safety goals.