February 29, 2012

UPS employee is first to tally 50 years of safe driving

In an unusual feat of longevity, UPS driver Ron Sowder achieves 50 years on the road without an accident.

By DC Velocity Staff

We don't know about you, but we'd be happy to share the road with any truck driven by UPS's Ron Sowder. Sowder, who joined Big Brown in 1960, is the first driver in the company's history to pass the 50-year mark for safe driving as a member of its "Circle of Honor." He began his UPS career as a package car driver; since 1976, he has driven tractor-trailers. Currently, Sowder transports packages five days a week, making a 306-mile round trip between a DC in West Carrollton, Ohio, and the UPS Worldport air hub in Louisville, Ky.

Sowder figures that during the course of his career, he's driven more than 4 million miles, transported more than 35 million packages, and climbed into a UPS truck more than 12,000 times—all without a single accident.

"A lot's changed in 50 years," he said. "When I started driving for UPS, folks in cars did a better job of keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. Now it seems like anything goes. ... The need for defensive driving, getting the big picture, leaving a space cushion—those are more important than ever."

More than 5,800 active UPS drivers currently are members of the "Circle of Honor," a recognition awarded to drivers who have gone at least 25 years without an accident.

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