Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently released a study that found that approximately 5,000 people are killed every year because of accidents involving large trucks. While less than 20 percent of fatalities involves the truck driver, if the truck driver is killed it is because he was not wearing a safety belt, the report states. The report, entitled "Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers," states that only 48 percent of commercial vehicle drivers wear seatbelts, compared to 79 percent of passenger vehicle drivers.
To urge commercial drivers to wear seatbelts, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, Norman Mineta, has announced a new private-public partnership that will educate drivers about the importance of buckling up. The effort will include the participation of drivers, trucking companies and law enforcement.