In the past 25 years, Lisa Black has logged countless miles delivering packages in her big, brown UPS truck, and she was honored recently for delivering them all accident-free.
To be inducted into the UPS Circle of Honor, a driver must have at least 25 years of accident-free driving. Last month, UPS Inc. announced that 42 Georgia drivers, including Black, were being inducted into the circle.
Black joins seven others in the Augusta office who have 25-plus years in a spotless driving record. Globally, the most seasoned driver in the circle is Thomas Camp, of Michigan, who has 54 accident-free years.
Atlanta-based UPS Inc. ranks No. 1 on the Transport Topics Top 100 list of the largest U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers.
“It’s a great feeling … and it makes me smile,” Black said. “I’m being safe for myself and the people around me.”
Black, 55, started at UPS 29 years ago. After graduating from Georgia Southern University, she began work for her father driving log trucks, but it wasn’t long before he began urging her to look elsewhere for a job with insurance and benefits. It led her to UPS, where she drives both the traditional package car and tractor-trailers. For the past year, she’s been on the Appling route in a package car.
Although she’s proud of her 25-year record, Black said it didn’t come without a daily struggle.
“You’ve got people coming at you left and right,” she said.
A lot has changed since she started, with distracted driving and cellphone use topping the list of newer traffic challenges. She credits the extensive and continual driver training UPS offers for helping her stay accident-free.
UPS teaches five "seeing habits": aim high in steer, get the big picture, keep your eyes moving, leave yourself an out and make sure they see you. Drivers are expected to repeat them on command for their supervisors monthly and demonstrate them in annual ride-alongs.
“They’re very good tools,” said Donald Lui, Augusta’s UPS business manager. “It goes a long way at work and at home.”
Lui said he also taught it to his teenager daughter and has had requests to talk to other teens about safe driving and offer tips.
“It’s important because we save lives, and we make it home to our families every day,” Black said of the training and the accomplishment.
A gold-colored 25-year patch now adorns the breast of her UPS jacket. It serves as a reminder to Black of her honor and as motivation for other drivers.