Seat Belt Safety: Why It Matters for Your Fleet

by Oct 26, 2020Fleet Safety0 comments

Buckle up. It’s the law!

Click it or ticket.

Seat belts save lives.

Federal law has required seat belts for every seat in new vehicles since January 1, 1968. In the 50 years since then, most states have passed laws that mandate use while driving. If you’re caught driving without a seat belt, you may receive a warning or a ticket, depending on the state and circumstances.

Your drivers should always obey the law, but safety belt use concerns far more than just tickets. The CDC estimates that seat belts have saved more than 255,000 lives since 1975. In 2017 alone, safety belts protected an estimated 15,000 people from death. When your drivers’ lives are at risk, guaranteeing seat belt use is a must.

In 2018, 60% of adults in fatal accidents were not wearing a seat belt.

Why should I use a seat belt?

For some people, wearing a seat belt during a long drive is uncomfortable. Others simply don’t want to be restrained. You can’t control what your employees do in their personal vehicles, but safety belt use is a non-negotiable for fleet safety. 

During a car accident, seat belts can lower the chances of serious injury by 50% and death by 45%. Without a belt, the crash’s momentum can eject both drivers and passengers. These people are 30 times more likely to be thrown from the vehicle. Over 75% of ejected passengers die from their injuries during a fatal crash.

As a fleet manager, mandating and monitoring seat belt use is vital to your fleet safety goals. Drivers that log thousands of miles are especially vulnerable to danger, particularly from other drivers. To keep your own team safe, make sure safety belts are part of every driver’s normal routine.

How do I encourage drivers to wear seat belts?

1. Include seat belt use in driver training

The best way to keep drivers safe is to teach good driving habits. In both new driver training and regular safety sessions, teach employees about safety belts. Talk about proper use. Cover the mechanics of vehicle crashes and how restraints make a difference. Then, follow education with enforcement. Write seat belt use into your safety policies and include the consequences of not following the rules. Help drivers understand why this policy is so important so they treat it seriously.

2. Monitor safety belt use

Many top telematics solutions offer seat belt monitoring. Use this tool to track and record usage across your fleet. If you see drivers who aren’t buckling up, you can use this data to address their violations before you see more deadly consequences. You can also use your telematics to alert drivers when their seat belts are unbuckled. This simple alert eliminates any excuses of forgetfulness, helping you find drivers who need more training.

3. Offer incentives

Positive reinforcement is a powerful workplace motivator. Gamify your driver results to encourage more safety and voluntary compliance. You can offer prizes such as time off, company swag, gift cards, and more to sweeten the competition. Your employees will drive safer and have more fun while they’re doing it.

Fleet and driver safety start with you. Use the form below to get in touch to learn more about equipping your vehicles with a telematics GPS tracking solution.

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