New FMCSA Data includes Lack of Seat Belt Use

Last month, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released safety data from 2011, including the following:

  • One-third of truck occupant fatalities occurred when occupant was not wearing a seatbelt;
  • 64% of large truck fatal crashes occurred on rural roads;
  • of the 530 fatal crashes in work zones in the country, 27% — or 144 — of them involved large trucks;
  • nearly half of all truck and bus fatal crashes occurred in these 10 states: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas.

iStock_000016720495XSmallAnne Ferro, FMCSA administrator, says that officials are “scratching their heads” over the increased truck occupant fatality rate, according to industry magazine Transport Topics. The FMCSA is looking into why so many large truck drivers are not wearing seatbelts and what can be done differently to encourage or enforce seatbelt use.

If you are a truck driver who is reading this blog, I encourage you to please wear your seatbelt. Another many excuses not to — it doesn’t fit, uncomfortable, how will I get out if I run off a bridge and I’m submerged in water and others. It doesn’t fit, purchase a seatbelt extension. The statistical chance of you running off a bridge submerging and water are so remote compared to an on-the-road collision that it simply is not a good argument. And sorry if its uncomfortable; it’s the responsible thing to do for you and your family.

Michael Leizerman is a truck accident attorney who sues truck drivers and truck companies when they kill or injure people in collisions. He handles many truck/car collisions, truck/bus collision, truck/train collisions and also truck/truck collisions in which one tractor trailer crashes into another.

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