You know that eerie feeling you get when you see the flashing lights in the distance? The traffic starts to slow, an ambulance zips by and you come across a policeman directing traffic. You look over and see an accident; people rushing to the injured. You think to yourself, “I hope they’ll be Ok.”
The average driver spends about 13,500 miles behind the wheel, per year. That’s a pittance to the long-haul driver, who can average 120,000 miles or more per year. With those miles…along with driving at night…comes witnessing even more accidents. And, with a majority of those miles spent on the highway, accidents involving high speeds don’t typically end well.
Oftentimes, truck drivers are the first ones on the scene…and thankfully they don’t shy away from getting involved. They provide assistance, or call for help. They are sentries of the road.
For some drivers, it comes as second-nature to respond in emergencies. They respond to the call of duty, to help others. If you read the trade journals, then you know that drivers have done some amazing things out on the road. There are a couple of award programs that recognize heroic acts – the Goodyear Highway Hero program, which is more than 35 years old, and the Truckload Carriers Association’s Highway Angel Program.
One recent honoree was Frank Vieira of Ancaster, Ontario. Last year, Frank was driving near Toronto when he saw a car on the other side of the road slam into a stationary roll-off truck. Frank parked his truck and ran over to the scene, where he found the driver severely injured. Part of the car’s steering wheel snapped during the crash and pierced the driver’s neck. Frank applied pressure to the man’s neck and managed to alert emergency services.
Meanwhile, the driver of the parked truck fainted when he checked out the wreck and saw how bad the injuries were. Frank pulled double duty. While applying pressure on the crash victim’s neck, Vieira used his foot to pull the unconscious truck drivers leg out of the road.
Both men survived and Frank’s actions were recognized by Goodyear, which honored him with its Highway Hero award.
Another great example is Josh Grimaldi, who was named the TCA’s Highway Angel of the Year a few years back for his efforts in saving a pregnant woman when her car spun off the road after hitting ice in Nevada. The woman was trapped in her car, which had been crushed and Grimaldi pulled his truck over to help. He was able to get the women out of the car and assess her injuries before paramedics arrived at the scene.
Great drivers are out there, and they help keep the roads safer. If you know a driver that deserves to be recognized for his or her selfless act, visit Goodyear or TCA’s website to make the nomination.