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Safety Belts for Drivers Part 1: It is the Law!

Title 49, Section 392.16 of the Code of Federal Regulations states:”A commercial motor vehicle that has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver’s seat shall not be driven unless the driver has properly restrained him/herself with the seat belt assembly.”

Direct costs of not wearing your safety belt in a crash:

  • Medical care and disability payments; physical and vocational rehabilitation
  • Overtime to cover the work of a missing employee
  • The loss of special knowledge or skills
  • Recruiting and replacing personnel
  • Reassigning and/or re-training employees
  • Lost business due to absenteeism
  • Legal fees
  • Increase in long-term rates for workers’ compensation, property, liability, commercial auto, and health insurances

Indirect costs of not wearing your safety belt in a crash:

  • Lost productivity resulting from using less experienced replacements, time taken by other employees to “fill in”, or to train replacements
  • Operational delays and losses resulting from the absence of the injured employees’ services
  • Diminished company reputation
  • Lowered employee morale
  • Regulatory and enforcement actions
  • Inability to attract new employees and retain existing employees

Management and Administrative costs:

  • Redesigning routes and schedules of drivers and shipments
  • Interviewing prospective replacements
  • Training repleacements
  • Preparing documentation for insurance claim and workers’ compensation
  • Writing accident reports in accordance with company, insurance and government requirements
  • Managing and participating in litigation

Why Safety Belts are Effective

  1. Safety belts, especially lap/shoulder belts, spread the stress and impact forces of a crash along the stronger and broader areas of the body, such as the hips and shoulders, thereby limiting injuries.
  2. Safety belts, especially lap/shoulder belts, hold you in place while the vehicle absorbs the impact of the crash and decelerates.
  3. The safety belt protects your head and spinal cord.
  4. Safety belts prevent occupants form being ejected from the vehicle or thrown around inside the vehicle, where they can strike objects within the cab.
  5. Safety belts prevent serious injuries and fatalities by minimizing the possibility of truck occupants striking the steering wheel, shift lever, windshield, dashboard, side doors and windows, roof, other objects, and other occupants.
  6. In a crash, a safety belt keeps the driver in place behind the steering wheel and in control of the vehicle, thereby avoiding or reducing the consequences of a crash and minimizing the chance of serious injury or death.
  7. Safety belts can keep you from being knocked unconscious, improving your chances of escape from fire or submersion.

Just be safe. Wear your seatbelt.

Professional Safety Consulting

Professional Safety Consulting