Few truck drivers wear seat belts, DOT study says

A new study indicates that less than half of the nation's 11 million commercial vehicle drivers wear seat belts. In addition, of the 588 commercial vehicle drivers killed in crashes in 2002, more than half were not wearing safety belts, according to information from the Department of Transportation (DOT).

Statistics revealed that 48% of commercial vehicle drivers do not wear seat belts. Of the 171 drivers ejected from their trucks in accidents in 2002, almost 80% of them were not wearing safety belts.

The data was released December 9 as part of a new national public-private partnership to combat low safety belt use among truck drivers. The new partnership will involve DOT, drivers, trucking companies, trucking associations, and law enforcement. It will focus on educating truck drivers about the importance of wearing a safety belt. Partners will provide safety belt messages to 1,200 truckstops throughout the nation, produce and distribute printed educational material at association events and roadside inspection facilities, and sponsor additional research as needed.

Associations participating include the American Trucking Associations, Motor Freight Carriers Association, National Private Truck Council, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Nationally, 79% of passenger vehicle drivers wear safety belts.

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