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55 Years Without An Accident: UPS Driver Tom Camp Sets Company Safety Record

UPS driver Tom Camp has achieved 55 years behind the wheel of a brown delivery truck without an accident. In that time, Camp has driven more than 1 million miles – the equivalent of two round trips to the moon or 40 trips around the equator.

The 77-year-old Camp, who began his career with UPS in 1962 delivering in suburban Detroit, credits his training and a healthy dose of caution for his remarkable record. “You need to assume other drivers are not as aware as you are,” said Camp. “If you assume the other guy is daydreaming, that’s a good first step.”

At a company with a long history of records, Camp’s stands alone. Only one other driver has eclipsed the 50-year mark – Ron Sowder of Dayton, Ohio, who had 50 accident-free years upon his retirement in 2012. Sowder and Camp are the only two drivers who’ve earned the distinction of wearing the number “50” on their uniform patch.

Of the 102,000 drivers at UPS, 9,349 have driven for 25 years or more without an avoidable accident. Of those, 91 have gone 40 years or more accident-free, and 10 have eclipsed the 45-year mark. Manhattan, New York driver Ronnie McKnight, with 48 years of safe driving, is currently No. 2.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Camp began delivering when roads were less congested and drivers less distracted. “Traffic has doubled since I started with Big Brown,” says Camp.  “I can’t count how many times I’ve seen folks do crazy things behind the wheel – reading the paper or doing their make up.  Cell phones are a part of it, too, but it’s more than just that.”

There were 40,200 motor vehicle deaths in 2016, up 6 percent from 2015, according to the National Safety Council. And distracted driving plays a role: 36 percent of people surveyed in 2015 by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance admitted to texting while driving, and 29 percent said they access the internet while behind the wheel.

“Tom’s accomplishment is remarkable and serves as an inspiration to all UPSers,” said Teri McClure, UPS chief human resources officer and senior vice president, labor. “On behalf of UPS, I thank Tom for taking such good care of our customers and others on the road.”  In recognition of his achievement, Camp was honored by the company and his local co-workers at a ceremony in Livonia.

In honor of Camp’s achievement, UPS has given a $25,000 grant to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) to continue their exemplary work on road safety issues. “Congratulations to Mr. Camp on his extraordinary achievement,” said Michael Sivak Ph.D., Director, Worldwide Sustainable Transportation for UMTRI. “We appreciate UPS’s contribution to our research related to highway safety, sustainability and commercial motor vehicle productivity and for their dedication to these important causes.”

UPS spent $194 million in 2016 on safety training, and in recent years, has opened nine regional UPS Integrad® driver training schools where safe driving methods are taught through hands-on, experiential learning and with high tech computer-assisted techniques.

Tom Camp’s 55-plus years of safe driving at UPS is an astonishing feat and a testament to the impact of driver education programs,” said Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “Smart decision making on the road reduces the rate of accidents and keeps both pedestrians and other drivers safe. We applaud Tom for his lifelong commitment to safety, as well as his service to this country as a marine.”

At 77, Camp says he has no immediate plans for retirement. “I enjoy my job and my customers,” he says. “As long as I can do it well, I’ll keep going.”

October 18, 2017

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