Atlanta Auto Accident Attorney Asks: What Can You Learn About Safe Driving From UPS?
UPS employs 102,000 drivers nationwide and 2,195 full-time drivers in Georgia, according to a recent Atlanta Journal-Constitution article. Among those drivers, 9,000 have gone 25 years or longer without an avoidable auto accident. One driver has worked for 54 years without a preventable auto accident, while another has driven 42 years without being involved in an avoidable collision. Given all of the miles logged annually by UPS drivers, driving so far for so long is a remarkable feat. UPS' safety record is something from which every driver in Georgia can learn.
The company's safety numbers are quite impressive. Here are some of the safety figures UPS proudly boasts:
• 9,349 drivers throughout the company have driven 25 years or longer for UPS while avoiding a preventable accident;
• UPS just added 1,575 more drivers to its "Circle of Honor" for driving 25 years without an avoidable accident;
• 42 drivers in Georgia were recognized by the company as "elite" drivers; and
• 384 Georgia UPS drivers have eclipsed the 25-year mark.
The company asserts that their rigorous training program is the reason why they are able to reduce the number of avoidable accidents. UPS drivers must take and pass a difficult driving course before the company permits the newly minted delivery drivers to take to the roads.
The UPS driver training program is far more rigorous than any driver training the average person receives before getting their driver's license. Many of the lessons learned by the drivers in the training are common sense approaches to defensive driving techniques. However, common sense is supplemented by science and technology.
UPS emphasizes safe driving principles start with the notion that the drivers around the company truck are unpredictable. Establishing that mindset puts drivers in a defensive-driving posture allowing the driver to worry about safety vigilantly. Other examples of safe driving techniques that you should keep in mind while driving are:
• Don't stare, scan. Keeping eyes constantly moving helps the driver understand where potential threats are coming from and process ever-changing traffic patterns;
• Always drive with the idea that you will need to find a way out of a bad situation. UPS teaches its drivers always to leave space around the truck. Drivers should leave space in front, behind, and to one side. Leaving space helps the driver avoid crashes because the driver knows where to maneuver if there is an immediate threat; and
• Avoid left-hand turns when possible.
UPS has determined that trying to avoid left-hand turns prevents accidents and helps save the environment. Left turns add to traffic build up and increases the dangers of driving because the operator must cross in front of oncoming traffic to complete the turn. These statistics, as reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, demonstrate how dangerous left turns are:
• 22.2 percent of all crashes are caused by the vehicle turning left compared to 1.2 percent of cars turning right;
• 61 percent of crashes that occurred while turning were left-hand turns, contrasted with 3.1 percent of all crashes that occurred during right turns; and
• Left turning vehicles are three times more likely to kill a pedestrian than a right turn.
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