UPS'S Circle of Honor: a Combined 117,000 Years of Accident-Free Driving.
ATLANTA -- UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced the induction of 784 elite drivers into its "Circle of Honor," pushing to 4,202 the total of active drivers who have steered clear of accidents for 25 years or more. Twenty of those new inductees are from Texas.
In fact, Texas is third on the list of active Circle of Honor drivers with 228 drivers boasting a combined 6,271 years of accident-free driving. Of those, two are tied for top honors in the state, each with 34 years of accident-free driving: Clarence Kronenberger of Spring and Deatrice Underwood of Dale.
Of the 4,202 active Circle of Honor drivers in the United States, Canada and Germany, 107 have gone 35 years or more without an accident, and six have gone 40 years or more. Collectively, UPS's active Circle of Honor drivers have compiled nearly 117,000 years of accident-free driving.
"UPS is committed to the safety of all our drivers, and of those with whom we share the roads," said Jim DeFord, UPS's Southwest Region health and safety manager based in Dallas. "The men and women who have achieved membership in the Circle of Honor are the best of the best - they've consistently demonstrated that commitment by going at least a quarter century without an avoidable accident."
UPS's 102,000 drivers worldwide are among the safest on the roads, logging more than 2 billion miles a year while averaging less than one accident per million miles driven. UPS has 5,469 drivers in Texas.
"When it comes to safe driving, UPS walks the walk," said Kathy Lusby-Treber, executive director of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. "The company shows a remarkable commitment to safety training and instilling a culture of safety among its drivers, and that commitment helps to keep our highways safer."
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. Before training drivers in their home districts, brown-clad UPS managers complete a grueling, boot camp-like three week course at one of the toughest driving schools in America, UPS Driver Training School in South Holland, Ill.
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 few years, more than 150 U.S. companies and state agencies have sought to replicate UPS drivers' success by asking to benchmark the company's training and methods.
UPS's senior safe driver in 2006 is Kentucky District tractor-trailer driver Ron Sowder, who has driven for 44 years without an accident.
While most of the honorees work in the United States, the Circle also includes drivers in Canada and Germany. All were formally recognized today in a two-page advertising spread published in USA Today.
In every UPS District where they work, new Circle of Honor members and their spouses are being honored at weekend ceremonies highlighting their achievement. All active drivers who have maintained their accident-free record also are invited along with their spouses to attend the ceremony.
How much is 117,000 years? For a little context, consider:
* About 117,000 years ago, a woman strolling on wet sand at the edge of a lagoon in southern Africa left behind the oldest fossilized footprints of a modern human ancestor ever discovered.
* About 117,000 years ago, Earth was nearing the end of the Eemian interglacial period - the second-to-latest interglacial era of the Ice Age.
* Mark your calendar for 117,000 years in the future - the year 119006.
More information on UPS and safety is available at http://www.pressroom.ups.com/safety.
Founded in 1907, UPS has a long history and tradition of safety and training. The company issued its first driver handbook in 1917 and began recognizing its safe drivers in 1923. In 1928, UPS recognized its first five-year safe driver, Ray McCue, with UPS founder Jim Casey presenting him a gold and platinum watch. The Circle of Honor was formally established as the mechanism to recognize safe drivers in 1955 and its membership has grown ever since.