Thursday, October 4, 2018

Better to arrive safely than not at all

Travis Harries
By Travis Harries

As an over the road driver I see all kinds of things that make me scratch my head. Mostly I observe people in a hurry that take unnecessary risks. My biggest question a lot of the time is, what’s the hurry? If I ever had the opportunity, I would ask them, “Wouldn’t you rather be a minute or two late than to not get there at all?”

I’ve been driving a truck for over 24 years. A lot has changed in the industry, that is for sure. And yes, I’ve probably done a few unsafe things in the past. I’ve learned through the many years on the road that sometimes going a little slower might just be the faster option. In my travels each week, I am traveling every type of road suitable for transportation. 

Personally, I rather stay on two-lane highways that go through the more remote parts of the country. Keeping in mind that my truck is governed at 65 mph, I am more often than not, a rolling speed bump. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve had to slam on the brakes, because someone was in a hurry to pass in an area that wasn’t safe to do so or where there was oncoming traffic. Because of our better view point, we can see much further than a personal vehicle, which makes watching these drivers pass in dangerous area more concerning.

Is your hurry or rush to get somewhere worth the risk of your life or someone else’s? Remember you are not only putting yourself at risk, you are putting all motorists at risk too. My end goal every week is to be as safe as I can and keep those around me safe, even if they aren’t of the same safety mindset as me, so I can get home to my family.

My wife and kids will often give me a hard time about some of my decisions while just driving around town. My explanation is always that it wasn’t worth the risk to do that, what’s the hurry? I know they aren’t serious about the ribbing, it’s just how I am. Safety has become somewhat of a lifestyle for me when I travel. That oncoming car might be headed to church or a ballgame or program at school. So, I must ask again, is your hurry worth it?

If I had any words of advice, I would just simply say to slow it down a bit. Be patient in your travels. Avoid the distractions as best you can. Don’t take those unnecessary risks. We all have the same goals when it comes down to it.  Always better to arrive safely at our destination than not at all.

Travis Harries is with Walmart Transportation and nominated for Kansas Road Team for KMCA 2018-2020.



  1. Thanks, Travis, for reminding us to pass with care when sharing the road with semi trucks. Drivers need to weigh all the options before they make their move. Sometimes the best option is to remain in place and continue following the truck.

  2. I so agree with you - it's better to arrive safely than not at all. So many lives have been lost because people were in a rush to save a few minutes. Thanks for your service and for sharing your story.