Strong increase in truck and bus driver seat belt use

U.S. study finds heavy vehicle drivers getting the seat belt message

vehicle seat belt

There’s been a strong increase in the percentage of U.S. truck and bus drivers wearing their seat belt.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has reported safety belt usage by commercial truck and bus drivers rose to a new record level of 86% in 2016.

Related: Calls for mandate on Blind Spot Detection for heavy vehicles

In 2007 it was found that there was just 65% usage, however, over subsequent years the FMCSA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found safety belt usage by commercial drivers has been steadily increasing.

Truckinginfo reports that in the 2016 survey involved nearly 40,000 commercial drivers operating medium to heavy-duty trucks and buses at more than 1,000 roadside sites across the U.S.

The survey found seat belt usage for commercial drivers and their occupants was highest by trucks and buses traveling on expressways (89%), compared to 83% on surface streets.

Male truck and bus drivers outpaced their female counterparts by buckling-up at a rate of 86% to 84%, respectively.

FMCSA Deputy Administrator Cathy F. Gautreaux saying the results are pleasing.

“Buckling up your safety belt, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive or ride in, remains the simplest, easiest and most effective step you can take toward helping to protect your life,”

“While it is good news that we are making strong progress, we need to continue to emphasize that everyone, everywhere securely fasten their safety belt 100 percent of the time.”

Related: ATA calls for focus on reducing driver distraction

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