CRASH safety advocate takes his first ride in a tractor-trailer at the invitation of Women In Trucking Association

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Ron Wood lost five family members in a fiery crash eleven years ago. Since then, he has been an advocate for CRASH to promote truck safety. Recently, he went for a ride in a tractor-trailer at the invitation of Women In Trucking Association, Inc.

Ron Wood, CRASH and Carol Nixon, Walmart Private Fleet

The ride along on the Walmart truck was highly informative.  And an unexpected, important step in my healing process.  The safety features, practices and professionalism in the Walmart trucking fleet are amazing, and way beyond what I expected.

“Enemy” was how Ron Wood viewed every tractor trailer on the road. The massive rigs were a painful reminder of the crash that killed his mother, sister and three nephews near Sherman, Texas in 2004. The accident was caused by a fatigued driver who crossed the median and struck his family’s SUV head on, killing all five of his loved ones.

Ron became active in the Truck Safety Coalition and C.R.A.S.H. Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, a safety advocacy group formed in 1990 and led by Joan Claybrook, a former Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Coalition. “To this day, when I see a semi-trailer truck, I am instantly reminded of the deaths and devastation they have caused (both to my family and to so many others) and of which they are constantly capable.” Wood stated in a Facebook post.

Mr. Wood served on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s “Entry level driver training advisory committee, where he met Ellen Voie, President and CEO of the Women In Trucking Association, Inc. (WIT). “Ellen suggested that it might be therapeutic for me to take a ride in an actual eighteen-wheeler.” Wood said. “I thought about it. My first internal reaction was, No way. Trucks [are] bad. But, then after I thought more…well, I figured it might be a helpful part of my healing process.” Wood added.

“When I met Mr. Wood it was clear that the loss of his family members had motivated him to focus on truck safety,” said Voie, “but I was especially concerned that he didn’t realize that the industry has the same goal. I wanted him to get a true perspective of the use of technology and the practices in place to avoid fatigue,” Voie added.

The ride was scheduled for September 25th, almost eleven years to the day that Ron lost his family members. Carol Nixon, a 25 year professional driver for Walmart’s Private Fleet and a member of the WIT Image Team, was the driver. His two-hour journey started and ended at the Walmart store in Woodbridge, Virginia.

"The ride along on the Walmart truck was highly informative. And an unexpected, important step in my healing process. The safety features, practices and professionalism in the Walmart trucking fleet are amazing, and way beyond what I expected, said Ron. “I only wish these safety measures were standard across all the trucking companies in the U.S." he added.

You can watch Ron Wood’s Youtube video here: https://youtu.be/O15eLESXrg4

Women In Trucking Association, Inc. is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry. Membership is not limited to women, as 16 percent of its members are men who support the mission. Women In Trucking is supported by its members and the generosity of Gold Level Partners: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, Daimler Trucks NA, GE Capital Transportation Finance, Great Dane Trailers, J.B. Hunt Transport, Ryder Systems, Inc., U.S. Xpress, and Walmart. Follow WIT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. For more information, visit http://www.womenintrucking.org or call 888-464-9482.

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