HIGH POINT, N.C., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Drive from Los Angeles to New
York City 37 times per year for the next 50 years, and you'll cover 5,200,000
miles, or the same mileage that many over-the-road drivers accumulate in that
same half century. Up the ante, and drive those five+ million miles --
accident free -- in an 80,000-pound 18-wheeler with a load that aches to
shift. Now, there's a cause to celebrate the safe driving habits of a career
Not much has happened in Cornell Brenson's life; no accidents in the last
47 years of his 51-year truck driving career. He was just a husband and
father, making a living so that his boys could grow up in a decent community
and get a good college education. But because nothing happened is precisely
why the North Carolina Trucking Association recently honored Mr. Brenson with
a safe driver award and named him "North Carolina State Truck Driver" for the
year 2000. Now, he is one of many
Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. (Nasdaq-NM: ODFL) safe drivers who over the
past 20 years have received an annual safe driving bonus.
"NCTA is extremely proud of Mr. Brenson's exemplary career. He sets a
high standard that other truck drivers should try to emulate," said Charlie
Diehl, president, North Carolina Trucking Association. "The NCTA Safety
Management Council's primary goal is to promote and enhance highway safety."
NCTA members meet regularly to exchange safety ideas. The organization
sponsors the North Carolina Road Team and its group of safety-oriented truck
driver speakers and conducts the annual NC truck driving championships. One
segment of NCTA's full safety program is to select and honor the best truck
In a recent interview, Mr. Brenson shared his secret to accident-free
"Patience," he said. "You've got to have patience, plenty of sleep and
enough rest before starting your work day. This allows your mind to be clean
and sharp." Brenson said his calm temperament is what keeps him out of
Brenson experienced first-hand those drivers who are not well rested. He
avoided running his truck into a woman who stopped her car in the middle of
the Interstate after she drove passed an exit. Then there was the man driving
a van filled with family members who swerved across the road. Brenson
recognized the signs of fatigue and honked until the driver pulled over to the
side of the road. Then Brenson pulled in behind the van to make sure the
driver wasn't experiencing medical difficulties.
"Mr. Brenson is a distinguished gentleman and a role model for other
professional drivers," said Christopher Hartley, N.C. state director, Federal
Motor Carriers Safety Administration. "We're fortunate to have drivers like
him in North Carolina working to keep the roads a safe place for all motor
vehicles. Mr. Brenson's uneventful driving record has kept other drivers --
who share the road with him -- alive."
Brian Stoddard, VP Safety & Personnel at Old Dominion Freight Line, said
Brenson is one of hundreds of drivers attending the company's monthly safety
meetings. During the last 11 years, Old Dominion Freight Line has improved
its accident frequency ratio from a high of 12.45 accidents per million miles
in 1989, to a low of 7.23 accidents per million miles in 1999. Old Dominion
has paid out $3.7 million dollars in safe driving bonuses to its drivers since
1987, with a record year payout of $557,328 for year ending 2000.
Brenson's wife, Corelus, a retired nurse, hopes he will retire soon and
take her on a trip to Hawaii. But Brenson isn't sure how they'll get there in
Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. is a Super-Regional carrier, providing
inter-regional and regional less-than-truckload shipping of general
commodities, such as consumer goods, textiles and capital goods to a
diversified customer base. The company provides direct service to 37 states &
the District of Columbia in the Southeast, South Central, Northeast, Midwest
and Pacific Mountain regions of the country.
SOURCE Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.