Safety belts are essential protection for everyone who operates a motor vehicle. While this safety measure is usually touted to those driving passenger vehicles, it is also essential advice if you operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Safety belts save driver lives in big rig accidents and can actually help prevent big rig wrecks.
Wearing seat belts is one of the easiest and most simple of safety measures that you, as a commercial driver, can take to reduce your chance of causing or being injured in I-45 big rig accidents.
Risky Connection - Safety Belts and Big Rig Accidents
Although safety belts are strongly recommended for every driver, many tractor trailer operators avoid using their belts for a number of reasons. Some feel the belt is uncomfortable after long hours of driving, while others suggest it prevents them from reaching around the cab as necessary. Unfortunately, thinking like this can cause serious and even fatal injuries in big rig accidents.
Interestingly, there are some surprising connections between operators who forego the use of their seatbelt and big rig wrecks. According to the Large Truck Crash Causation study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 23% of single vehicle big rig accidents involved operators who were not wearing seat belts.
Even more telling, a study done by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute showed that drivers not wearing safety belts were involved in 40% of all baseline, non-crash traffic events and over 66% of all crash incidents. The conclusion from this study suggests a link between safety belt use and risky driver behavior if you are a commercial truck operator.
Benefits for Big Rig Drivers who Buckle Up
Following are some suggestions from these studies that show just how important it is that tractor trailer operators also wear their safety belts:
- Less Likely to Be Injured - Operators themselves comprise a large percentage of those killed in I-45 big rig accidents. By wearing a safety belt, you as a truck driver can dramatically reduce the chance that you will suffer fatal or life-threatening injuries in big rig wrecks. The chance of being killed in any vehicle when not using a safety belt is 25 times greater than when a safety belt is worn. This number is even higher for commercial drivers.
- Less Likely to Be Involved in An Accident - Because safety belts hold drivers securely in their seats, you are less likely to lose control of your rig by being bumped and bounced around the cab. Even when the unexpected happens, operators will remain in control of their own vehicle.
- Less Likely to Practice Other Risky Behaviors - Various safety studies suggest that if you take the time to put on your seat belt, you are less likely to practice other risky behavior while driving. Based on correlations between seatbelt use and other behaviors such as aggressive driving, distracted driving, speeding, and failing to follow safe driving laws, those who wear safety belts are less likely to cause or be involved in big rig accidents.
Huge, heavy tractor trailers are difficult to operate, demanding a high level of expertise and attention to avoid big rig wrecks. If as an operator you fail to use a safety belt, you leave yourself open to shifting and distraction while driving as well as serious injuries in the event of big rig accidents.
Safety belt use is also the law. In an effort to keep the roads safer and reduce I45 big rig accidents, all commercial operators should buckle up for safety like everyone else!
Hildebrand & Wilson, LLP
Robert W. Hildebrand, Attorney at Law
J. Daniel Wilson, Attorney at Law
7830 Broadway, Suite 122
Pearland TX 77581
Phone: (281) 408-2190