Buckling up is both effective and required by federal regulations; however, 1 in 6 drivers of large trucks don’t use their seat belts according to a recent CDC Vital Signs report. In 2012, more than 1 in 3 truck drivers who died in crashes were not wearing seat belts. Buckling up could have prevented up to 40% of these deaths.
Crashes involving large trucks are the leading cause of on-the-job death for truck drivers in the US, and they continue to take a toll on truck drivers, their passengers, other road users, businesses, and the community.
There are three big risks to truck driver safety:
- Not using a seatbelt
Using a seat belt is the most effective way to prevent injuries or deaths in a crash.
- Drowsy driving
Getting good sleep each day is important to truck drivers’ safety and health. Sleep-deprived people do not recognize how poorly they are performing; they tend to think they are doing better than they are.
- Distracted driving
Distracted driving occurs any time a driver takes his or her eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off driving.
What Can Be Done
- Employers can
- Commit to driver safety programs at the highest level of leadership.
- Establish and enforce company safety policies, including seat belt use requirements for truck drivers and passengers as well as bans on text-messaging and use of handheld phones.
- Involve workers in decisions about how to put seat belt programs in place.
- Schedule trucks drivers with enough time for adequate sleep.
- Educate truck drivers about ways to avoid distracted and drowsy driving.
- Truck drivers can
- Wear their seat belts every time, every trip.
- Insist that their passengers also wear their seat belts.
- Follow regulations that prohibit truck drivers from text messaging or using a handheld cell phone while driving a truck.
- Learn how to avoid drowsy and distracted driving in order to protect themselves and others.
- States can help increase seat belt use by truck drivers through high-visibility enforcement of seat belt laws by state troopers and motor carrier safety inspectors.
- March 2015 Vital Signs Issue: Trucker Safety
- Vital Signs Issue details: Seat Belt Use Among Long-Haul Truck Drivers — United States, 2010, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)
- General information on Motor Vehicle Safety
- Motor vehicle safety resources from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
- Vital Signs – Trucker Safety [PODCAST - 1:15 minutes]
- Vital Signs – Trucker Safety [PSA - 0:60 seconds]
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