What percentage of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers wear safety belts?
A new FMCSA study shows only 65 percent of all commercial vehicle drivers wear safety belts. The study dispels the conventional belief that professional truck drivers are more likely to wear safety belts than drivers of passenger vehicles, 82 percent of whom wear safety belts.
What are the latest statistics on CMV driver deaths in truck crashes in 2006?
- 805 drivers and occupants of large trucks died in truck crashes.
- 393 drivers and occupants of large trucks who died in truck crashes were not wearing safety belts.
- 217 drivers and occupants were killed and ejected from their vehicles, almost 81% were not wearing safety belts.
What do you say to drivers who think wearing a safety belt is a personal decision and doesn't affect anyone else?
First, it is the law. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require CMV drivers to wear safety belts. Section 392.16 of the FMCSRs (49 CFR 392.16) states, "A commercial motor vehicle which has a safety belt assembly installed at the driver's seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained himself/herself with the safety belt assembly."
Many people are affected by a person's decision to wear or not wear a safety belt.
The consequences of not wearing a safety belt can greatly affect your family and loved ones. What would be the affect on your loved ones if you are killed or seriously injured in a crash as the result of not buckling up?
It is your responsibility to maintain control of your vehicle. Safety belts are your best chance of remaining in control of your truck in a crash or emergency situation.
Does the USDOT have a regulation requiring working safety belts on commercial vehicles?
Yes. Section 393.93 of the FMCSRs (49 CFR 393.93) requires seat belts on trucks, truck tractors, and buses manufactured on or after January 1, 1965. For vehicles built on or after January 1, 1965, but before July 1, 1971, the seat belts must comply with the FMCSRs in effect on the date of manufacture. For vehicles built on or after July 1, 1971, the seat belts must comply with the applicable National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards concerning seat belts (49 CFR 571.208, 571.209, and 571.210). When the FMCSRs require conformity to a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, the vehicle or equipment must conform to the version of the Standard that is in effect on the date the vehicle, or a subsequent version of the requirements.
Some drivers feel a safety belt will trap them inside their vehicle and they won't be able to get out of the cab if it catches fire or is submerged in water. What can you say to them to relieve their anxiety?
A driver's best chance of survival is remaining conscious and in place behind the wheel of his/her truck. Wearing a safety belt greatly reduces your chance of sustaining injuries, and increases your chances of survival.
In rollovers, drivers are 80% less likely to die when belted.
Drivers have commented that safety belts are too small and restrict their movement.
Most drivers find that once they have correctly adjusted their seat, lap and shoulder belt, discomfort and restrictive movement are not a problem.
I have heard that drivers don't like the shoulder strap of the belt riding their neck and consequently don't wear safety belts. Is the USDOT looking into this problem?
The issue and extent of safety belt discomfort is currently being reviewed by the FMCSA's Office of Research and Technology (R&T) as a factor affecting driver safety belt use.
What do you say to drivers that think wearing a safety belt isn't going to prevent injuries if they are in a crash?
Safety belts prevent injury by: preventing ejection, shifting crash forces to the strongest parts of the body's structure, spreading forces over a wider area of the body, allows the body to slow down gradually, protects the head and spinal cord.
Your fact sheet states 51% of truck occupant fatalities in heavy trucks involve a rollover and a rollover in a heavy truck increases the likelihood of fatality 30 times. Are you doing any research to prevent roll over crashes?
Yes, a recent Field Operational Test (field test) of a rollover prevention system yielded encouraging results and found a reduced risk of rollover crashes under certain driving conditions. The system, called the Roll Advisor and Control System (RA&C) is manufactured by Meritor WABCO, and is now being commercially offered on trucks manufactured by Freightliner LLC. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) managed the recently completed field test that was funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as part of the US DOT's Intelligent Vehicle Initiative (IVI) Program. DOT/FMCSA plans to work with the private sector to accelerate the deployment of rollover prevention systems like the RA&C and is currently developing a deployment plan.
What are your latest statistics on truck crashes?
- 385,000 large trucks were involved in crashes in the United States, 4,995 people died in 4,321 fatal crashes and 106,000 were injured in 77,000 injury crashes, at an estimated cost to the nation of $59.2 billion.
- More than 80% of all fatal truck crashes involved at least one other vehicle, usually a passenger car, pick-up, sport utility vehicle or van.
- In fatalities resulting from crashes involving large trucks, 75% were occupants of another vehicle, 8% were non-occupants, and 16% were occupants of a large truck.
- In injuries resulting from crashes involving large trucks, 76% were occupants of another vehicle, 2% were non-occupants, and 22% were occupants of a large truck.
- In 2006, the majority of fatal large truck crashes occurred in good weather (87%), on dry roads (84%), during the daytime (66%), and on weekdays (85%).
Fatalities in large-truck crashes:
Injuries in large-truck crashes: