More than 7,000 UPS drivers have driven at least 25 years without an accident.
UPS recently announced the 2013 Circle of Honor, celebrating drivers with more than 25 years of accident-free driving. Combined, these 7,221 drivers in the Circle of Honor have driven more than 5.3 billion miles through their careers, enough to go to Mars and back 19 times.
"You've got to focus all the time." – Geraldine Kelly, package car driver, Montgomery, Ala.
- Collectively, they have 198,000 years of safe driving.
- 394 have been accident-free for 35 or more years.
- 42 have been accident-free for 40 years or more.
- UPS's 102,000 worldwide drivers travel nearly 3 billion miles a year accident-free.
Tom Camp, based out of Livonia, Mich., has driven more than 51 years and delivered 5 million packages without an accident. Read more about him here.
Among his secrets? "Pay attention all the time," he says. "If you take your eyes off what's happening ahead, you'll be on top of that car in a fraction of a second and slamming on your brakes. Keep a space cushion, keep your eyes moving and check your mirrors."
A passion for safety
UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods from the first day of classroom training. The training continues throughout their careers – and the Circle of Honor members often help coach new drivers.
For instance, new 2013 inductee package car driver Geraldine Kelly stands out on the road, as well in her Montgomery, Ala., center. She serves up character along with safety lessons. "They give me the newest ones because they know I'll drill 'em until they learn it. I'm like a first-grade teacher – I just say it over and over until they get it in their heads."
Her driving advice: "Communicate in traffic: Use your horn, establish eye-to-eye contact and don't be in a hurry. You've got to focus all the time."
Package car driver Rudy Taylor, based in New York, says, "I've taught all seven of my children, and my wife, to drive using the UPS safety methods. But then, I also tell them every time something happens in your car, your insurance goes up."
Tom Brotherton, who is based out of St. Louis, has 29 years without an accident. He taught his five children to drive and, so far, all maintain flawless records. "Because most of the general public is not paying attention," Brotherton says, "I tell my kids they better make sure they do."
His advice for others: "Take it one step at a time, and don't let the job overwhelm you."
Lonnie Jones, a package car driver in New York who has driven 27 years accident-free, offers this driving advice: "Stay healthy and exercise. That's what's kept me going for 27 years."