FMCSA: truck, bus driver seat belt use rises to 86% nationwide

by Talk Business & Politics staff ( 111 views 

The number of commercial vehicle drivers, including truck drivers, who wear seatbelts has risen more than 20% since 2007, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The FMCSA recently released the results of its 2016 survey on seat belt usage of commercial vehicle drivers in the United States, and seatbelt use by truck and bus drivers has risen to 86%, from 65% in 2007. The federal agency completes the survey every three years, and since the previous survey in 2013, seatbelt use has risen from 84%.

In the 2016 survey, the seatbelt usage rate for truck and bus drivers was 87% in all regions of the United States, except for the Northeast where it was 71%. Between 2013 and 2016, the rate women wear seatbelts rose three percentage points to 84%, while the rate men wear seatbelts increased two percentage points to 86%. Over the same period, seatbelt use on expressways increased three percentage points to 89%, and the usage on streets rose five percentage points to 83%.

Since 2007, the FMCSA has completed the survey six times.

Starting Jan. 1, truck drivers and others who work in industries regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation will be tested for semi-synthetic opioids, such as hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone, according to the federal agency. The DOT requires drug testing of “safety-sensitive employees” in the transportation sector.

“The opioid crisis is a threat to public safety when it involves safety-sensitive employees involved in the operation of any kind of vehicle or transport,” Secretary Elaine Chao said. “The ability to test for a broader range of opioids will advance transportation safety significantly and provide another deterrence to opioid abuse, which will better protect the public and ultimately save lives.”