UPS (NYSE: UPS) today announced the induction of 1,519 drivers into its elite "Circle of Honor," raising to 7,221 the number of drivers who have avoided accidents for 25 years or more.
The number of new inductees is the largest for any single year in the company's history and includes 42 new members from Canada, Germany and Puerto Rico.
Collectively, the 7,221 drivers have logged more than 5.3 billion miles and more than 198,000 years of safe driving through their careers. That's enough miles to travel to Mars and back 19 times.
"Keeping our highways and roads safe for travelers is our highest priority," said Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA), Chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. "I commend UPS and these outstanding drivers for helping create safer roads for us all and achieving the milestone of 25 or more crash-free years of driving."
Of the Circle of Honor members, 394 have been accident-free for 35 or more years, with 42 of those having driven more than 40 years without an accident. UPS's top safe driver in 2013 is Great Lakes District package car driver Tom Camp, who has driven 51 years and delivered 5 million packages without an accident.
"I never thought I'd be here for over half a century," said Camp. "But UPS's safety training has helped me stay healthy and accident-free. It's truly an honor to lead such a distinguished group of drivers."
This year, 40 new inductees are females and 20 women have joined the ranks of those with more than 30 years of safe driving. This latter group is led by Orlando tractor-trailer driver Ginny Odom, who is credited with 39 years and more than 3 million miles without an accident. There are a total of 146 women in the Circle of Honor.
UPS's 102,000 drivers worldwide are among the safest on the roads, logging nearly 3 billion miles per year with less than one accident per million miles driven.
All UPS drivers are taught safe driving methods beginning on the first day of classroom training through the company's defensive driving platform. The training continues throughout their careers. In 2010, UPS implemented a ban within its organization on text and e-mail messaging while behind the wheel, distractions that are a proven cause of traffic crashes.
"Our training and our drivers' attention to details, such as avoiding distractions while driving, all play a part in their remarkable record," noted John McDevitt, UPS senior vice president of human resources and labor relations. "The annual expansion of the Circle of Honor is proof that our training works."
UPS extends its safe driving expertise to the communities it serves through UPS Road Code, a teen safe driving program available in the United States and internationally. Taught by UPS volunteers, the program is available to teens between the ages of 13 and 18. To date, and more than 15,000 teenagers have participated. The program has been extended to the UK, Canada, Germany and China, and further international expansion is planned. The four-session training regimen is based on UPS's safe driving methods. UPS Road Code is offered in the U.S. in conjunction with Boys & Girls Clubs of America thanks to $7 million in contributions from The UPS Foundation.