The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires all commercial truck drivers to wear seatbelts while driving, but unfortunately, seat belt usage rates are still unacceptable to truck accident lawyers. In 2006, according to the federal agency, 703 large truck drivers died in accidents, and 340 out of those fatalities were not wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
Out of these truck driver fatalities, 180 drivers were ejected from their vehicles during the accident, and 80% of them were not wearing seat belts. It is clear from the statistics that wearing a seatbelt can help drivers avoid the kind of horrific and catastrophic injuries that can result when he is ejected from the truck.
The risk of being ejected from a truck is even higher during a truck rollover. Rollovers are fairly common because of the distribution of weight across the tractor-trailer, which can make it hard for the driver to control a vehicle, especially when he’s making a turn at high speeds.
Approximately 52% of all truck driver fatalities in accidents involved a truck rollover. A truck driver who is involved in a rollover accident is approximately 30 times more likely to be killed. A driver who is killed in a rollover accident is also approximately 80% less likely to be wearing a seatbelt.
Many commercial drivers avoid wearing seatbelts because they believe that these are uncomfortable and restrict movement. In fact, truck drivers will find that if they adjust the seat, lap and shoulder belt, seatbelts are fairly comfortable, and also do not restrict movement.
Another common reason that truck drivers cite for not wearing a safety belt, is that seatbelts will prevent them from leaving the truck during a fire or other emergency. The fact is that seatbelts can actually help restrain you, and help prevent you from becoming unconscious during an accident. This helps increase your chances of escaping from the truck during a fire.
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