Less than half of all lorry drivers bother using their seatbelt, a new survey has shown. Researchers working for Sweden’s National Society for Road Safety discovered the shocking fact after observing more than 700 truck drivers and interviewing over 200 more during 2011 and 2013.
Ironically, more than half of those interviewed said they did use safety belts when driving a car, but around fifty per cent didn’t bother buckling up when behind the wheel of a larger vehicle.
Their reasons for such unusual behaviour were fairly nonsensical; some said that buckling up was ‘difficult’, ‘inconvenient’ or ‘time-consuming’, despite the process for belting up being virtually identical regardless of what it is you’re driving.
“Bearing in mind that the safety belt can spell the difference between life and death, these are not particularly credible excuses,” Carl Johan Almqvist, Traffic & Product Safety Director for Volvo Trucks, said. “At Volvo Trucks we invest considerable resources in the development of accident-prevention systems, but as long as the human factor plays such a big role it will never be possible to entirely eliminate the risk of road accidents.
“I would therefore encourage both haulage firms and drivers to do what they can to improve safety. The simplest measure of all is naturally to use the single most important safety feature on board – the safety belt.”
Truckers would be smart to heed his words. Seatbelts usage is regarded as the most crucial issue for improving traffic safety, according a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report. Indeed, Volvo believes that if more road users wore their seat belts, more than 7,000 lives would be saved every year in the EU alone.