Truck driver Robert Morali, a longtime resident of Jackson, Mississippi, has driven more than 5 million miles for UPS over a span of 39 years and has never had an accident, reports the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger. Morali’s record of perfect safety places him in a rare and elite class of drivers. Only 60 out of 102,000 UPS drivers have driven 39 years without having an accident.
It’s rarer still for a driver to log as many miles as Morali, who drives a 28-foot tractor trailer 630 miles round trip from Jackson to Heflin, Alabama, near the Georgia border, five days a week.
“Reaching 5 million miles is extremely rare,” Brad Stotler, media relations manager for the American Trucking Association, told the Clarion-Ledger. “In the last five years, we’ve heard of only two or three drivers doing it,” Stotler added.
UPS spokesman Dan McMackin told the Clarion-Ledger that Morali’s long-earned accomplishment is an incredible one, considering how challenging the traffic has become in the last few years.
“In the public, if someone goes five or 10 years without an accident it’s a pretty good accomplishment,” McMackin said. “Traffic has become more intense than ever. And distracted driving — cell phones, texting — has made it even tougher on our nation’s highways. When you think of what Robert has done in that environment, it’s absolutely astonishing.”
Morali has driven in all types of weather and has witnessed some accidents on the road that were bad enough to give him nightmares for years. But he doesn’t attribute his clean record to luck.
“We are so well trained, and we are constantly reminded of the five ‘seeing habits’ that we go by every day,” Morali told the Clarion-Ledger. “We’re checking our mirrors every two seconds. It has become a habit. If you know your surroundings and give yourself plenty of cushion from the driver ahead of you, your chances of having an accident are greatly reduced.”
“Plus, I never leave this place without saying a prayer,” Morali added. “I ask that I not injure anyone and that I not be injured. If there is such a thing, that’s my good luck charm.”