Safety belt usage among commercial truck and bus drivers spiked significantly between 2007 and 2009, according to new figures released by Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) – with seat belt usage rates over 10% higher in states with strict safety belt laws.
“This is a very big deal,” Steve Keppler, interim executive director for the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), told FleetOwner. “Think about it; safety groups get ecstatic when car driver seat belt usage numbers jump 1% to 2% over a year or two – and the focus on car driver usage rates has been going on a lot longer compared to commercial vehicle operators.”
FMCSA reported that overall safety belt use by commercial drivers climbed to 74% in 2009 from 65% in 2007, with seat belt use at 78% in states with primary safety belt laws – allowing law enforcement to stop drivers for not using a safety belt – versus 67% in states with weaker laws.
CVSA’s Keppler also stressed that the rapid increase in seat belt use among commercial drivers wouldn’t have been possible without widespread industry support. “Fleets of all stripes are doing a tremendous amount to spread the word about seat belt use and establish policies to promote it,” he said.
Make sure your drivers wear seatbelts and keep them safe!