Color Me Safe
High visibility seat belts encourage truckers to buckle up
With safety belt use mandatory in most states and a federal requirement for commercial vehicle drivers, it’s surprising that so many truckers still refuse to buckle up. Many companies are taking steps to encourage use. Take the spread of bright orange or green high visibility seat belts. Available from Freightliner, Kenworth, Mack, Peterbilt, Sterling and Volvo, the colorful belts from LifeGuard Technologies let anyone see that a driver is strapped in.
“From a fleet’s standpoint, the high visibility belts send a message to drivers that they care about compliance with seat belt laws,” says Kevin Tribbett, a spokesman for LifeGuard. “But there is a benefit to owner-operators too, in that law enforcement can immediately recognize that they are wearing their belt.”
For those who ignore their seat belts because of discomfort, the company has put together a campaign — “Click, Tug and Snug” available at www.clicktugsnug.com — to show drivers how to adjust a belt to be safe and comfortable.
“The biggest complaints that drivers have is that they don’t like the tension on their torso and they are bothered by the belt rubbing their shoulder,” says Tribbett. “Frankly, seat belt adjustment is not something that a lot of drivers get training on, and the younger driving population may not be aware that they can make the belt comfortable for themselves.”
nd if an appeal to drivers’ brains won’t work, a tug on their hearts might. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership asked kids to submit posters encouraging drivers to “Be Ready, Be Buckled.” Sarah O’Dell, of Oklahoma, the young daughter of a truck driver, won with her drawing and important message: “Us kids need our mommies and daddies alive when the trip is done!”