UPS (Atlanta) announced the induction of 354 drivers into its "Circle of Honor," pushing the total of active elite drivers who have steered clear of accidents for 25 years or more to 3,956. Eighty-seven of these men and women have gone 35 years or more without an accident. UPS's senior safe driver in 2005 is Kentucky District tractor-trailer driver Ron Sowder, who has driven for 43 years without an accident.
While most of the honorees work in the United States, the Circle includes drivers in Canada and Germany. All were formally recognized today in a two-page advertising spread published in USA Today. "Part of our responsibility is to help make the roads safe for everyone and these men and women have consistently performed the best for a quarter century or longer," said Kevin Strahan, UPS's corporate health and safety manager.
UPS drivers overall are among the safest on the road, logging more than 2 billion miles a year while averaging less than one accident per million miles driven.
"UPS's safety record saves the company money, but more importantly it saves lives, anguish and the lost time caused by traffic crashes," said Kathy Lusby-Treber, director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. "UPS has shown a remarkable commitment to safety and that commitment pays dividends for all of us who use the roads."
All UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods from their first day of classroom training, including the company's comprehensive safety course, "Space and Visibility." The training continues throughout their careers.
New UPS tractor-trailer drivers receive 80 hours of computer-based and on-the-road training before operating equipment. UPS package car drivers take 20 hours of computer-based and on-the-road training, plus three safety ride evaluations during their first 22 days on the job. Over the last two years, more than 125 U.S. companies and state agencies have sought to replicate UPS drivers' success by asking to benchmark the company's training and methods.