More drivers are buckling up: FMCSA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – More truck drivers are wearing their seat belt, according to the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

A national survey conducted by the group found that seat belt usage in the U.S. was up to a record level of 86% in 2016, from just 65% in 2007.

FMCSA deputy administrator Cathy F. Gautreaux says while the results of the survey are good news, work would continue on the issue until 100% of drivers buckled up on the road.

“Buckling up your safety belt, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive or ride in, remains the simplest, easiest and most effective step you can take toward helping to protect your life,” said Gautreaux.

The survey found that safety belt usage was highest for those truck drivers and passengers operating on highways, at 89%, compared to the 83% for those operating on city streets.

Male drivers were 2% more likely than female drivers to buckle up.

Drivers who operate in the Northeast U.S. were less likely to use their belt at just 71%, while 87% of drivers in the West, Midwest, and Southern regions used their seat belt.

Since 2007, FMCSA, in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted the Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey six times. In each survey, safety belt usage by commercial drivers has been shown to be steadily increasing. 

The 2016 survey observed nearly 40,000 commercial drivers operating medium- to heavy-duty trucks and buses at more than 1,000 roadside sites nationwide.

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