A new study carried out by Volvo has found that half of truck drivers do not use their safety belts.
The survey interviewed 700 truck drivers in Sweden – a country with a reputation for being more safety-conscious than most.
In the EU alone, over 7000 lives would be saved every year if more road users wore their safety belts. The likelihood of surviving a serious road accident doubles when wearing a safety-belt. Despite this, many truck drivers choose not to wear one. Compulsory usage of a safety belt has been required by EU law since 2006, and a recent WHO report, ‘Global Status Report on Road Safety 2013’ emphasises increased belt usage as vital aspect of improving traffic safety.
Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director for Volvo Trucks said, “In recent years belt usage has increased among truck drivers, but even so, fewer than half use the safety belt. And that’s despite the fact that both our own and European research has revealed that at least 50 percent of truck drivers who lost their lives in traffic would have survived if they had been belted in. Of all truck drivers involved in fatal accidents, only five percent were wearing their safety belts.”.
Most truck drivers claimed to wear a belt when behind the wheel in a car, but not in a truck. Reasons given included the difficulty, inconvenience, and time consuming nature of putting on and taking off the belt.
Given that the humble safety belt can mean the difference between life and death, some truck drivers need to think again about their safety behind the wheel.