The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that passengers riding in large commercial trucks will be required to use seat belts whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. Effective Aug. 8, 2016, the final rule revises Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in large commercial trucks are using seat belts.
“Seat belts save lives – period,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Whether you’re a driver or passenger, in a personal vehicle or large truck, the simple act of wearing a safety belt significantly reduces the risk of fatality in a crash.”
In 2014, 37 passengers traveling unrestrained in the cab of a large truck were killed in roadway crashes, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of this number, approximately one-third were ejected from the truck cab.
FMCSA’s most recent Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Drivers Survey, published in March 2014, found that commercial motor vehicle passengers use seat belts at a lower rate (73 percent) than CMV drivers (84 percent). Federal rules have long required all commercial drivers to use seat belts.
“Using a seat belt is one of the safest, easiest, and smartest choices drivers and passengers can make before starting out on any road trip,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “This rule further protects large truck occupants and will undoubtedly save more lives.”