Seat Belt Usage For Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers

Date: December 15, 2020

Barlo Hardin, Senior Risk Control Consultant

The Importance of Buckling Up   

In 2006, 703 drivers of large trucks died in truck crashes and 314 of those drivers were not wearing a seat belt, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. In the event of a sudden stop or crash, a seat belt is the most important in-cab safety device to protect commercial motor vehicle drivers.  

Even the most experienced CMV drivers should always be wearing their seat belt. Other drivers, severe weather, tire blowouts, or mechanical failure can all cause accidents that lead to injuries and fatalities.

Costs For Your Company

Injuries and fatalities can be extremely costly to your company. The average cost per truck crash injury is $195,258. When the truck crash results in a fatality, the average cost is $3,604,518, and these costs are inflated by drivers who do not use their seat belts. Financial loss isn't the only form of loss that your company can face. Your drivers can experience a possible loss of livelihood, injury, pain, disfigurement, disability, or death.

As an employer, there are several actions you can take to improve seat belt use among your CMV drivers. First, create and enforce a company seat belt policy. Doing so can help reduce the number of drivers who are injured or killed by on-the-job crashes. Next, participate in seat belt campaigns by providing drivers with a seat belt safety talk to prevent injuries and reduce expensive tickets. Finally, take time to educate drivers on the importance of being safe on the job.

5 Reasons CMV Drivers Should Always Buckle Up

  1. Drivers are three times more likely to be killed or injured if ejected from your vehicle. Seat belts can reduce the odds.
  2. In an emergency, drivers are more likely to stay in control of the vehicle if they are buckled up. This can help prevent serious damage and injury to others.
  3. Drivers may be thrown into cab equipment if not buckled.
  4. A driver's chances of being injured or killed are reduced by up to 50% when wearing a seat belt.
  5. You are not just a driver. You are someone's son, daughter, mother, father, husband, wife, or friend. Buckle up for them.

It's the Law 

Not only is wearing a seat belt a smart choice for commercial motor vehicle drivers, but it is also the law. According to Title 49, Section 393.93 Code of Federal Regulations, "In general, commercial vehicles must be equipped with seats, seat belt assemblies, seat belt anchors, seat belt warning systems, and other specifications regulating occupant crash protection." Furthermore, Title 49 Section 392.16 of the Code of Federal Regulations requires "A commercial vehicle that has seat belts installed at the driver's seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained himself/herself with the seat belt assembly." 

Want to learn more about how BITCO can help train your drivers? Click the "Find an Agent" button below and locate an agent near you.

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For information purposes only. BITCO's blog content does not address all potential circumstances and is not a substitute for business, safety, or legal consultation.


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