Every job is accompanied by certain risks and potential hazards. For individuals who make a living driving commercial trucks and other vehicles, steps must be taken to protect against being involved in or causing a truck accident.
In general, today’s motor vehicles are safer than ever. However, as we discussed in a recent blog post, when it comes to large commercial trucks many safety features that are readily available in personal cars and trucks are not being widely used in commercial trucks. This lack of safety features, combined with information that was revealed in the National Survey of U.S. Long-Haul Truck Driver Health and Injury, provides details about serious safety deficiencies that exist within the commercial trucking industry.
For the survey, more than 1,200 commercial truckers were questioned about various occupational safety matters. When truckers were questioned about their seat belt usage, surprisingly only 86 percent admitted to always buckling-up. Of the remaining 14 percent, eight percent admitted to sometimes wearing a seat belt and an alarming six percent reported never wearing a seat belt while driving.
Not only is it illegal not to wear a seat belt, but a seat belt is also widely regarded as one of the most effective motor vehicle safety features to prevent serious injury and death. During 2012, one-fourth of all occupational fatalities involved motor vehicle accidents. Nearly 50 percent of work-related motor vehicle fatalities involved a truck driver. Based on these statistics, it’s clear that the trucking industry must do more when it comes to both encouraging truck drivers to wear seat belts 100 percent of the time and enforcing strict penalties for those drivers who fail to do so.