There are safe drivers and then there are safe drivers. Ralph Lendi is clearly one of the safest. The UPS tractor trailer driver has logged more than 7 million miles behind the wheel and has never been in an accident or received a ticket. Not once.
We first noticed the story over at CBS Chicago, which ran a profile of the 40-year-plus UPS veteran. As that station's story pointed out, 7 million miles is obviously a big number — but the statistic is even more mind-boggling when put into context.
A trip to the moon, for example, would take about 239,000 miles. If Lendi were an astronaut, he would have traveled between the Earth and moon more than 29 times. Eat your heart out, Buzz Aldrin.
A few more numbers to consider — Lendi has worked around 40-plus years. Of course, he didn't work every day of every year, but for the sake of simplicity in mathematics, let's pretend he did. If that were the case, Lendi would have averaged more than 479 miles per day without any problems.
When asked his secret for safe driving, Lendi said, “If I had to give one piece of advice to anybody, space. Leave yourself room around everybody else."
He also stressed the importance of candy. Lendi keeps plenty on hand to hand out to anybody who wants it.
Yahoo News spoke with UPS spokesperson Dan McMackin about Lendi. "He's definitely a legend within the company," McMackin said. "It's incredible what he's done."
McMackin said Lendi is "71 years old and still sharp as a tack. Still safe as anybody in this country when it comes to being behind the wheel. The local management team uses him as an example for all the other drivers in Chicago."
Yet Lendi, whose current route is between Indiana and Chicago, isn't the company's top driver in terms of safety.
UPS rates safety, McMacklin explained, by number of years of safe driving. Lendi's got a 44-year streak going, but the current top dog is Tom Camp, a delivery driver with 51 years without incident.
Better watch your rear view mirror, Tom. Objects may be closer than they appear.