UPS Pairing its Driving Experts with Teenagers for Safety
A Century of Safe Driving Expertise Delivered Through Boys & Girls Clubs of America
ATLANTA - Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, but UPS and its world-renowned drivers are going to make an effort with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to change that.
The UPS Foundation, the charitable arm of UPS (NYSE: UPS), is rolling out a national program in collaboration with Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) to teach the company’s industry-leading safe driving techniques to teens. Based in large part on the same safety training used with UPS’s own drivers, the program - UPS Road CodeSM - will help teens learn the code for safe driving.
Thanks to a three-year, $1.5 million grant from The UPS Foundation to BGCA, UPS Road Code will be taught to an estimated 1,200 teens this year in 10 U.S. cities: Atlanta; Los Angeles; Dallas; Omaha, Neb.; Little Rock, Ark.; Oakland, Calif.; New York; Washington; Chicago, and New Orleans. The program is expected to roll out to other markets in 2010.
UPS Road Code provides teens with four sessions of classroom-based instruction and time “behind the wheel” of a computerized driving simulator. About 150 UPS employees will serve as trained volunteer instructors for the program.
The need certainly is there. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in every three teenage deaths occurs on the road.
“UPS drivers are among the safest on the road. The Road Code program gives us the opportunity to use our nationally recognized safe-driving training to directly impact a need in our communities and prevent teenage deaths,” said Ken Sternad, president of The UPS Foundation. “The program also provides UPS employees the chance to participate in what we like to call ’skilled volunteerism’ by using their professional safe driving expertise to help save lives.”
UPS’s more than 100,000 drivers worldwide live and breathe safety, logging more than 2.5 billion miles a year while averaging less than one accident per million miles driven.
To launch the Road Code program nationally, UPS and The UPS Foundation today are hosting an event at the Warren/Holyfield Boys & Girls Club in downtown Atlanta featuring a news conference and “open house” showcasing the UPS Road Code curriculum. The program is launching before the busy summer driving season, the deadliest time for teen car accidents, according to the CDC.
“We are extremely grateful to The UPS Foundation for bringing UPS Road Code to our teens, providing access to important safety training utilizing state of the art simulators,” said Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. “This is an important complement to our mission of delivering critical health and life skills to our members.”
To help spread the word about teen safe driving, one of UPS’s best known “drivers,” David Ragan, is supporting the program through a series of video and audio public service announcements that will be available online and will broadcast on radio stations nationwide. Ragan is the driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford Fusion in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series.
“Safety is a priority for me on and off the track,” said Ragan. “I’m proud to be teaming up with the professionals at UPS to help young drivers learn some valuable skills that will benefit them their entire lives.”
The UPS Road Code program spans four weeks, as follows:
* Week one includes a “code” of safety principles that UPS drivers use each day. During this session, teens will hear from a UPS Circle of Honor driver, who is one of the more than 4,600 active UPS drivers with 25 or more accident-free years.
* Week two covers the consequences of risky driving behaviors - such as talking, texting or using cell phones while driving.
* Week three focuses on the 10 safe driving tips and tools used by UPS drivers. This course also features a laptop-based hazard-identification test that is used by UPS to train new drivers.
* Week four enables teens to practice what they’ve learned behind the wheel of a computerized driving simulator. Three computer screens serve as a “windshield,” and teens use a steering wheel and gas and brake pedals to navigate a virtual roadway. The simulators tabulate scores based on safe driving, providing a friendly competition aspect to UPS Road Code.
Teens, parents and others interested in learning more about safe driving and UPS Road Code should visit ups.com/roadcode. And for regular updates on UPS Road Code, safe driving tips and other UPS news, sign up for the UPS Twitter channel at twitter.com/ups_news.
About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) has helped kids “BE GREAT,” providing hope and opportunity for those who need it most. Today, more than 4,300 clubs serve some 4.5 million young people through club membership and community outreach. Known as The Positive Place for Kids, Boys & Girls Clubs can be found throughout the country and on U.S. military bases worldwide, providing young people 6 to 18 years old with guidance-oriented character development programs conducted by trained, professional staff. Clubs positively impact lives and help young people reach their full potential as productive, caring citizens. Key programs emphasize leadership development; education and career exploration; community service; technology training; financial literacy; health and life skills; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and family outreach. In a recent Harris Survey of club alumni, 57 percent said the club saved their lives. National headquarters are located in Atlanta, Ga.
About The UPS Foundation
Founded in 1951 and based in Atlanta, Ga., The UPS Foundation’s major areas of focus include community safety, nonprofit effectiveness, economic and global literacy, environmental sustainability, and diversity. The UPS Foundation pursues these initiatives by identifying specific projects where its support can help produce a measurable social impact. In 2008, The UPS Foundation directed more than $100 million in philanthropy to charitable organizations worldwide. Visit community.ups.com for more information about UPS’s community involvement.
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