Chicago-based courier Roger McGowan was awarded $5,000 for winning DHL's six-month safe-driving competition that culminated in Dallas, Texas earlier this month.
The Safe-Driving Rodeo Competition, which was overseen by driver training vendor Smith Systems, began in April with 180 DHL Express drivers. Nine finalists competed in a freeway and street driving competition in Dallas on Oct. 19. They also were given written tests and a vehicle inspection.
McGowan was selected as the winner among nine finalists, who were given a $1,000 prize.
"A lot of companies with driver fleets stage one-day rodeo events on a closed course, but we view safe driving as an everyday event at DHL," said Mike Wagner, DHL Express U.S. director of safety. "We wanted to have a program that was sustainable and at the same time exciting for our couriers. Having Smith System partner with us has helped to achieve both these goals. And most important, it's also resulting in fewer accidents and higher safety scores."
The Smith System's "5 Keys to Space Cushion Driving" have figured prominently in the competition from the beginning, including Aim High In Steering, Get The Big Picture, Keep Your Eyes Moving, Leave Yourself An Out, and Make Sure They See You.
McGowan studied the Smith material that was given to him during training in Chicago.
"He also went the extra step of researching Smith Best Demonstrated Practices online," Wagner said. "He also spent time narrating the five keys even on his personal time. His wife, Kathryn, also gave him feedback. She would read him test questions, and he would answer."
McGowan started his career at DHL in May of 1990 in Lisle, Illinois. He is based at DHL's Chicago O'Hare International Airport facility.