August 23, 2018 12:15 PM, EDT

Editorial: Shining the Spotlight on Safety

The job of the truck driver is not an easy one.

It takes a special level of skill and dedication to safely operate an 18-wheeler in congested highway traffic, or to maneuver a straight truck into a tight loading dock, all while adhering to federal hours-of-service regulations and meeting narrow delivery windows.

Besides performing their jobs with care and precision, professional drivers must remain vigilant as they share the road with motorists who too often are distracted by their mobile devices or recklessly weaving through traffic.

Despite all of these challenges, truck drivers typically don’t receive much recognition for the essential work they do to reliably deliver America’s freight and keep the U.S. economy moving.

When shoppers arrive at a grocery or retail store, they can count on the shelves to be stocked with fresh food and new products, but rarely pause to think about the hard work that went into transporting those goods to market.

And that’s why events such as the National Truck Driving Championships earlier this month are such valuable opportunities to shine the spotlight on the profession.

Top drivers from across the country gathered in Columbus, Ohio, to compete for national honors at the annual event, unofficially dubbed the “Super Bowl of Safety” in trucking circles.

While the action itself was not as fast paced as a pro football game, these competitors exemplified the precision, expertise and industry know-how that professional drivers exhibit every day in the course of duty.

The event culminated with Scott Woodrome of FedEx Freight hoisting the trophy as this year’s Grand Champion.

As such, he now stands as a prominent example of the excellence and professionalism to which all drivers should aspire.

Congratulations to Woodrome and the other award winners from NTDC, and a hearty thanks to all of the competitors for embodying the pride and commitment to safety that can be found in professional drivers across the nation.