A driver with more than 40 years experience and over 4 million accident-free miles to his credit is this year’s winner of a major trucking industry award.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced recently that this year’s International Driver Excellence Award recipient is Duane Dornath of Western Express Inc.
“There are so many quality drivers out there and to be considered among them is an honor,” said Dornath. “This prestigious award is the highlight of my trucking career.”
Dornath said the freedom of being out on the road is what he most appreciates about his job. “I’ve always enjoyed driving and seeing the different parts of the country. I’ve got a job to do but still can enjoy the outdoors. There is also a certain amount of pride in doing what the trucking industry does which is delivering the goods and services that we all depend upon.”
With decades of driving experience, Dornath knows exactly what to do to ensure he is operating safely. “I think patience is a key element in safe driving,” said Dornath. “I always told my kids when they were learning to drive that they shouldn’t always expect people to do what they are supposed to do. People sometimes don’t and that’s how accidents can happen. Be ready with a plan B when you see plan A isn’t going to work.”
He added, “I also believe that when it comes to any type of driving, short-term memory loss is a good thing. Forget about that driver that cut you off, forget about the driver that wouldn’t let you move over. Road rage only leads to bad things.”
“Duane is the perfect example of what a professional driver should strive to be,” said Daniel Patterson, director of safety for Western Express Inc., who nominated Dornath for the award. “It is not often, in any industry, where you meet someone who is not only great at performing their job, but also positive in influence on both the industry and the community. I would consider myself fortunate to meet another person as passionate about serving the community, who takes the time to look out for others in the industry and who is an overall great ambassador to everyone involved in the industry and at Western Express.”
Nominees for the award must have at least 25 cumulative years of crash-free driving in a commercial motor vehicle with a clean driving record for the past three years, no felony convictions, no safety-related driving suspensions in the past three years and no driver violations in the past three years, excluding form and manner violations.
“We are so impressed by Duane Dornath’s many years of safe driving, his commitment to fostering and encouraging other drivers in his fleet, his community service and volunteer work, and his focus on faith and family,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Dornath said it was an honor to receive this award but we’re the ones who feel honored to be able to acknowledge such an exceptional driver for his efforts.”
The PrePass Safety Alliance sponsored 2020 IDEA.