Be Ready, Be Buckled

Sometimes truck drivers, like motorists, are reluctant to wear their seatbelts. Be Ready Be Buckled is a campaign to encourage more big rig drivers to buckle up.

Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that safety belt use cuts the risk of death by 60% for people riding in trucks. 51% of truck-occupant fatalities in large trucks involve rollovers. In a rollover, a truck driver is 80% less likely to die when wearing a safety belt according the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In 2011, through “The I-81 Project, ” we worked with truck drivers along Interstate 81 from Harrisonburg to Raphine, Virginia. The goal of this project was to see an increase in seatbelt usage among truck drivers in the project areas.  We used mobile billboards, CB radio messaging and outreach tables at truck stops to remind commercial vehicle drivers to buckle up. Safety belt use increased slightly.

These projects work. Safety belt use among truck drivers has increased as much as 20% during past campaigns.

Check out these statistics:

  • In 2009, 12,713 lives were saved, by seatbelts nationwide. An additional 3,688 lives would have been saved a NHTSA study observed, if there was 100% seatbelt use by our nation's drivers.
  • 2010 safety belt use was observed to be higher in states governed by primary belt use laws (80%) than secondary belt use laws (72%).
  • Fleet drivers buckle up more often (80%), according to a 2010 FMCSA study, than independent owner-operators (71%).
  • In a crash at 30 mph, an unbelted person will hit the windshield with the same force as a person falling from the top of a three story building according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Large Commercial Vehicle Crash Statistics from the FMCSA

  • In 2009, 3,215 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes, a 21-percent decrease from 2008 and the largest annual decline since records were kept.
  • 221 buses were involved in fatal crashes nationally in 2009.
  • In Virginia, in 2009, 77 people died in crashes involving large trucks. 8 people died in crashes involving buses.

Truck Drivers

84% of commercial motor vehicle drivers wear their safety belts.