There are safe commercial truck drivers. Then there's Tom Camp.
Camp, 77, a Michigan-based package car driver for UPS Inc., was honored today as having driven 55 years without an accident. No other driver in Atlanta-based UPS' 110-year history has driven accident-free for so long. Only Ron Sowder, who retired in 2012 after 50 years behind the wheel in Ohio, had clocked so many years without an accident.
The closest active UPS driver to Camp is Ronnie McKnight, a New York City driver with 48 accident-free years under his belt. Of 102,000 UPS drivers, 9,349 have driven for 25 years or more without an avoidable accident, the Atlanta-based company said. Of those, 91 have gone 40 years or more accident-free, and 10 have eclipsed the 45-year mark, UPS said.
Camp has driven the equivalent of two trips to the moon and back, or 40 trips around the equator, according to UPS estimates.
To mark Camp's achievement, UPS said it would make a $25,000 grant in his honor to the University of Michigan's Transportation Research Institute. In addition, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder declared today to be "Safe Driving Awareness Day," no small gesture in a state synonymous with motor vehicles.
Camp, who said he has no plans to retire, credits his record in part to a "healthy dose" of caution on the road. "You need to assume other drivers are not as aware as you are," he said. "If you assume the other guy is daydreaming, that's a good first step."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story misstated Tom Camp's name. DC Velocity regrets the error.