Apr 1, 2015
About 65 percent of on-the-job deaths of truck drivers in 2012 were the result of a motor vehicle crash. More than a third of the drivers who died were not wearing a seat belt.
This troubling fact has the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) calling on employers and government agencies to address the lagging level of seat belt compliance among truck drivers.
After dropping to 35-year lows in 2009, the number of crash fatalities of truck drivers or their passengers increased between 2009 and 2012 according to the latest Vital Signs report issued by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"We know that using a seat belt is the single most effective intervention to prevent injury or death in a motor vehicle crash. However, in 2012 more than 1 in 3 truck drivers who died in crashes were not buckled up, a simple step which could have prevented up to 40 percent of these deaths "said CDC Principal Deputy Director Ileana Arias, Ph.D. “Employers and government agencies at all levels can help improve truck driver safety and increase seat belt use among truck drivers by having strong company safety programs and enforcing state and federal laws."
Motor Vehicle Safety Program: All employers - long-haul trucking companies, local service businesses with vehicle fleets and even small employers with drivers – everyone benefits from implementing driver safety programs that prevent accidents and injuries which, in turn, reduces claims and insurance premiums for Workers Compensation and Commercial Auto policies. To assist employers, NIOSH has a fact sheet and checklist on how to create a Motor Vehicle Safety Program.
Key findings in the report include:
What can be done to reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and deaths among truck drivers?
For more information on motor vehicle safety at work, including trucker safety, please visit the NIOSH Motor Vehicle Safety page. Released in conjunction with this month’s Vital Signs is the NIOSH Long-Haul Truck Drivers page. Both these topic pages offer research results, resources, and useful links for employers and workers.
Source: NIOSH, News Release – March 3, 2015. Vital Signs: Trucker Safety