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UPS Circle of Honor salutes elite drivers for safety

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Hear from a new inductee into the esteemed circle – and from a few who continue to amaze.

Can recall your last fender-bender?

"Our drivers' expertise behind the wheel has helped many avoid the life-changing impact of accidents." – Teri McClure

Maybe just yesterday you collided with another car at a stoplight, or scraped the side of a door while parallel parking. Or maybe, you’re still feeling the effects from a far more traumatic accident that happened several years ago.

Whatever the scenario, getting behind the wheel is one of the most dangerous activities a person can do. Globally, motor vehicle accidents leave as many as 50 million people injured or disabled each year.

Imagine for a moment what that figure would look like if we spent our entire workday driving. Would it double? Or, what if the vehicle were an oversized truck with hundreds of weighty brown boxes inside? Would the figure triple? 

Not for these statistic-shattering UPS® package car drivers. 

Meet the faces behind safe driving 

Every year, UPS package car drivers earn induction into the "Circle of Honor." The elite circle, signified by a special uniform patch, lets the community know that a driver has logged at least 25 years or more for UPS without an avoidable accident. 

This year, 1,613 drivers will be inducted, bringing the elite roster to a total of 8,703 drivers.

One of those new honorees is Puerto Rico-based Marlene Nazario, the first Latin American woman to be inducted. 

"For me, being the first female COH driver in Latin America is to serve as inspiration for all women," she says. "Women can do this kind of work. I would be proud if more female co-workers could achieve this milestone."

Of all the members, 514 have not logged an avoidable accident for 35 years or more, and 68 of those have achieved the same feat for 40 or more years. One of those longtime COH members, Tom Camp, is a Livonia, Mich.-based driver with more than half a century of safe driving under his belt. 

His secret? "You just have to pay attention out there. You can't get distracted. Safety is No. 1." 

Or take Ginny Odom, an Orlando semitractor-trailer driver who became UPS's first female driver to reach 40 years without an avoidable accident. 

"I never thought I'd make it to 40 years without an avoidable accident," the Odom says. "But it shows you what you can accomplish if you work hard. And the company's training methods really work."

The art of defensive delivering

UPS inducted its first female COH driver almost a century ago. Today, UPS's 102,000 drivers worldwide have amassed a reputation as some of the safest on the road, racking up more than 3 billion miles per year and delivering over 4 billion packages. Prior to delivering their first package, however, drivers are required to pass a defensive driving training program specific to their route and vehicle. 

"Our drivers' expertise behind the wheel has helped many avoid the life-changing impact of accidents," says Teri McClure, chief human resources officer and senior vice president, global human resources and labor. 

"I salute their efforts and hope they serve as an example for all of us as to the importance of dedication and focus behind the wheel."

See how Latin America's first female Circle of Honor driver earned her patch, and what she hopes the recognition means for her fellow colleagues. Check out the full list of 2016 inductees.

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