March 25, 2008
DENVER -- The number of professional truckers buckling up their seat belts jumped dramatically in 2007 to a record level of 65 percent, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters announced today during a national conference of state commercial vehicle law enforcement officers.
"Seat belt usage among commercial motor vehicle drivers rose to a new high of 65 percent," said Secretary Peters. "Though weve made great strides, we wont rest until 100 percent of commercial motor vehicle drivers wear a seat belt 100 percent of the time."
Currently, 82 percent of passenger vehicle drivers wear seat belts. A survey conducted in 2003 found that only 48 percent of truck drivers used seat belts. In 2006, this figure had improved to 59 percent. The results announced today by Secretary Peters were the findings of the largest and most comprehensive study ever conducted.
Secretary Peters credited the increased seat belt usage in part to the creation of a coalition established by the Department in 2003 with the purpose of increasing seat belt usage among truck drivers. She also credited a 2007 public service announcement the Department produced starring NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace for helping to raise seat belt awareness among truck drivers.
Print, audio and video copies of the FMCSA-Rusty Wallace public service announcement are available for download at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-belt/. Results of the "Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers 2007 Survey," announced today, are available at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-belt/exec-summary-2007.htm.