Originally printed in the The New York Times
As told to Tanya Mohn featuring Tom Camp, 77, a U.P.S. delivery driver in Livonia, Michigan.
How did you become a professional truck driver?
I came out of the service — the Marine Corps — in 1961 and needed a job. There was a kind of recession going on. I had no driving experience, but I found work delivering packages during Christmas. After the holidays, I was unemployed again.
I heard about U.P.S. from a friend. I had a driving test on a Friday, and on Tuesday I was driving. I’ve been doing it since 1962.
Has behavior on the roads changed since the early ’60s?
Driving has gotten worse. The guidelines are basically the same, but there is much more traffic out there. Everyone is in such a hurry. There isn’t courtesy among drivers anymore. It seems to be a lost art. Some drivers are so bad, they don’t even put turn signals on. Where did those people learn how to drive? How did they even get out of driving school?
What are the biggest mistakes that you see motorists make?
There are too many aggressive drivers and a lot have their minds on other things, like reading the paper or doing their makeup. A lot are on cellphones. Distraction is very, very big.
Read more about Tom Camp’s interview at the New York Times website or in print on April 29, 2018, on Page BU2 of the New York edition with the headline: Delivering Packages Safely for 55 Years.