Trucking accidents and 18-wheeler crashes are an important topic today; many national safety groups are trying to find ways to reduce these events and the casualties they cause. One area that seems to get little public attention except by I-45 semi-truck crash lawyers is seat belt use among. Accident statistics show that many truck drivers who die in highway accidents because of lack of use of their safety belt. I-45 truck accident lawyers suggest that part of the way to reduce trucking accident fatalities must start with something as simply as truckers getting into the habit of buckling up.
Some Startling Seat Belt Statistics
There are thousands of crashes involving commercial trucks every year that result in many injuries and deaths. Among the over 300,000 yearly big rig truck crashes on our nation’s highways, an estimated 700 or more truck drivers or passengers die as a result. Commercial truck accidents and fatalities are considered occupational events; in the past few years, fatal truck crashes have increased. Occupational fatalities caused by truck wrecks now account for 25 percent of all work-related deaths; nearly half of those are caused by failure to use a seat belt. In 2012, the most recent data year in which the CDC studied these numbers, nearly 40 percent of all occupational deaths caused by 18-wheeler accidents involved operators or passengers not wearing safety belts.
Seat Belts, Safety Habits, and Commercial Truckers
Additional data collected by the CDC and other safety organizations reveals that over 14 percent of all truckers interviewed at truck stops do not routinely wear their seat belts. A third of all truckers have been involved in serious trucking accidents at some point in their career. Lack of seat belt use also tends to indicate a higher incidence of other unsafe habits, including safety violations such as speeding, distracted driving, and having received two or more driving citations in a driver’s career.
Additionally, an interesting association in all of the above is that these behaviors have been connected largely with drivers who work for companies that do not have written safety policies. Conversely, safety data reports show that drivers from states with seat belt laws in effect are more likely to wear their seat belt while working – and suffer fewer fatalities.
Increasing Commercial Truck Driver Seat Belt Compliance
Safety studies show that seat belt use reduces fatalities in both passenger vehicles and big rig trucks alike. With seat belt use required in many states, it should become a major factor for companies that hire and rely on semi-truck drivers to require compliance with seat belt usage to reduce citations and fatalities – and increase fleet safety. This can be with detailed safety and procedure policies and greater awareness of the consequences of driving without seat belts. Safety rules banning the use of distracting devices can also help, as can better enforcement of all company-wide safety rules. Getting drivers into the habit of buckling up should be a prime concern for all trucking companies.
Seat belt use is essential, no matter what kind of vehicle a driver operates. With such a significant role in 18-wheeler wrecks, I-45 truck accident attorneys agree that it is especially important for truck drivers to always use their seat belts. Staying safe can prevent incidents that end up requiring the help of I-45 Semi Truck Crash Lawyers. It all starts with buckling up that seat belt!
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