The overall safety belt usage rate for drivers of all medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses rose from 84 percent in 2013 to 86 percent in 2016, according to a report from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Safety belt usage by commercial truck drivers rose to a new record level in 2016, according to the results of a national survey, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said Nov. 13.
The overall safety belt usage rate for drivers of all medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses rose from 84 percent in 2013 to 86 percent in 2016, according to the FMCSA report.
The FMCSA has conducted the “Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey” six times since 2007 in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Each survey found safety belt usage by commercial drivers steadily increasing.
The 2016 survey, which observed nearly 40,000 commercial drivers operating medium- to heavy-duty trucks and buses at more than 1,000 roadside sites nationwide, found that safety belt usage for commercial drivers and their occupants was highest by trucks and buses traveling on expressways at 89 percent, compared to 83 percent on surface streets.
Male truck and bus drivers outpaced their female counterparts by buckling up at a rate of 86 percent to 84 percent, respectively, according to the results.
Regionally, the survey found that commercial vehicle drivers and their occupants in the West, the Midwest and the South all wore safety belts at an 87 percent rate. Only in the Northeast region was safety belt usage by truck and bus drivers different and significantly lower at just 71 percent, the FMCSA said.
The survey was designed and conducted, the FMCSA said, in accordance with data collection methodologies that are also used by the NHTSA in surveys of non-commercial vehicle passengers.
As part of the survey, teams of spotters and recorders collected data through observations from overpasses on weekdays and weekends during daylight hours in all weather conditions. Data collection sites for the survey were randomly chosen, according to the FMCSA.