You would never get behind the wheel without buckling your seat belt. This simple safety feature saves millions of lives each year and can make the difference between injury and death in an accident. However, many truck drivers forgo the use of seat belts, claiming they are uncomfortable or restricting on long drives. This oversight can affect all drivers and passengers around the semi in the event of a truck accident, including:
- Himself. Failure to buckle up places the trucker at risk, but also any passengers riding with him. Many passengers in a trucker’s cab have been injured or killed as a result of being thrown from their seat into the dashboard or windshield because they were unrestrained by a belt.
- Others. A trucker must stay in his seat in order to take evasive maneuvers in a crash situation. A truck driver who stays in his seat can remain in control of the vehicle until the last second before an accident occurs, allowing him to continue applying the brakes or turning the wheel to avoid other vehicles. A safety belt can make the difference between a serious accident and a minor one—potentially saving victims’ lives—by keeping the trucker secured to the driver’s seat.
- The law. Just like all other drivers, a trucker who is not wearing a seat belt is breaking the law—but he is also in violation of trucking regulations. Under the rules of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, any commercial vehicle that has a seat belt assembly installed at the driver's seat must not be driven unless the driver has buckled up. If a driver is found to be in violation of this regulation, he can face monetary fines and license suspension.
An Unbelted Trucker Might Be Breaking Other Laws
If a truck driver is willing to flout the mandatory safety belt law, he is more likely to engage in other risky driving behaviors that could have caused your truck accident. Many truckers who ignore regulations are not making just one exception; they could be playing by their own rules and putting all road users at unnecessary risk.
If you were injured in an accident with a semi truck, our experienced truck accident attorneys can help you get the payments you deserve for your medical bills and time off work. Contact us online or call us directly at 816.471.5111 to have us get started on collecting and preserving the evidence in your case.