WASHINGTON, D.C. — Seatbelt usage among commercial drivers in the US rose 7% in 2008 to 72%, according to the latest figures from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The latest figures were lauded by the American Trucking Associations (ATA), which has been lobbying for improved seatbelt enforcement.
“We must continue to educate all motorists about the importance of buckling up,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves.
As part of its 18-point road safety agenda, the ATA recommends: all states enact primary seatbelt laws; audible reminders for seatbelt use in commercial vehicles; contrasting colours for seatbelts so law enforcement can quickly identify non-users; state adoption of the failure to wear a seatbelt defense; and denial of workers compensation for drivers who fail to use seatbelts.
In its 2008 Seat Belt Usage Study, the FMCSA found that: seatbelt usage by passengers in commercial vehicles rose to 61%; drivers for major fleets showed a higher usage of 75% compared to 62% usage among owner/operators; regionally, commercial drivers in the west were more likely to wear seatbelts (77%) and drivers in the northeast were the least likely to use them (56%); and seatbelt usage was higher on weekends than weekdays, in urban areas than suburban or rural areas and in areas with faster traffic.
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