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Thank you, Jessica Bliss and The Tennessean for a positive article about truck drivers - and, on the front page also!

Thirteen-year driver veteran, Harold Hyde was rightfully highlighted in your 6/10/20 front page article. He was lauded as a "hero" and recognized rightfully for a job well done. As most heroes, Mr. Hyde very modestly claimed he'd only done his job, that anyone would have acted as he did, and that the hero moniker was unwarranted.

This isn't false modesty on his part. What is a little-known fact is that professional drivers save thousands of lives daily across this country simply in the course of doing their respective jobs.

What is sad is that in today's litigious society Mr. Hyde, and his company, Old Dominion Truck lines, took a terrible risk in stopping or trying to help in any way. What would have been the resulting outcome had this event not finished with a miraculous happy ending?

What if the autistic child had been injured when moved? Or, worse yet, had died? What if, when he blocked the highway, an accident occurred? What if the driver's actions caused long traffic delays and people were late for appointments? The driver, the company, and the industry would have been thoroughly vilified by the press, the driving public, and by the billboard ambulance chasing plaintiffs bar.

Did you know that for over thirty years now when a truck and car have an accident, the car is at fault 72-76% of the time? Did you know that fatalities in truck/car accidents have gone down from 6.1 per 100,000,000 miles traveled in 1975 to 1.3 per 100,000,000 miles in 2017? Did you know that the insurance community settles most claims against trucking companies out of court regardless of accident facts or fault?

The simple truth is that professional truck drivers are true heroes. They have certainly proved that over the past five months during the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic shut down. They unselfishly continued to do their jobs, often risking their health and their families' health ensuring that food, fuel, medicine, and other essentials were accessible and abundant to us all.

I guess what I'm trying to convey is that it's so refreshing to see the transportation industry and one of its drivers recognized in a complimentary and positive way. There should be more of this all the time, not just in the midst of a crisis.

david owen
David Owen
The National Association of Small Trucking Companies
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