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Cover of Seat Belts for Truck Drivers
Seat Belts for Truck Drivers
  • Publication no: AP-141-99
  • ISBN: 855885211
  • Published: 1 December 1999
The study addresses why seat belt wearing rates remain low among truck drivers, despite revisions to design rules aimed at making truck seat belts more comfortable. These changes allow for anchorage of the seat belt to the seat and reduced retractor sensitivity. A pilot study of direct observation of seat belt wearing rates showed that it was possible to observe drivers wearing a lap-sash seat belt but it was not possible to distinguish between wearing a lap-only belt and not wearing a seat belt. Despite this, the observers noted that seat belt wearing was much more common in the smaller rigid trucks than the larger ones. Interviews of articulated truck drivers in Western NSW and articulated and rigid truck drivers in Melbourne found that 72% of drivers said that they had never used the seat belt in the truck they were driving. An additional 16% stated that there was no seat belt fitted in their truck or it had been removed. Only 4% of drivers stated that they used their seat belt all the time. Drivers of rigid trucks and new trucks (three years old or less) were more likely to report wearing their seat belt all the time than drivers of articulated trucks. Whether the seat belt was connected to the seat or vehicle body had little effect on frequency of use. The most common reason given for not wearing a seat belt was that it was uncomfortable however, 27% of drivers said seat belts had no safety value or were dangerous. Fear of the cabin crushing in a severe impact acted as a strong deterrent to seat belt wearing. Guidelines for a communication strategy based on driver beliefs and behaviours are outlined. To maximise increased wearing rates; it will be imperative to design specific messages and executions with the target audience in mind. Three target groups were identified: drivers of rigid and articulated trucks and employers. Possible communication paths are enforcement, employee safety and driver safety.
  • AP-141/99 SEAT BELTS FOR TRUCK DRIVERS
  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS
  • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  • 1. BACKGROUND
  • 2. POSSIBLE METHODS FOR DETERMINING ACTUAL WEARING RATES AND REASONS FOR NOT WEARING SEAT BELTS
  • 3. PILOT STUDY OF DIRECT OBSERVATION OF SEAT BELT WEARING BY TRUCK DRIVERS
  • 4. INTERVIEWS OF TRUCK DRIVERS - DESIGN AND METHOD
  • 5. INTERVIEWS OF TRUCK DRIVERS - RESULTS
  • 6. GUIDELINES FOR COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES
  • 7. OVERALL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
  • REFERENCES
  • APPENDIX 1: RECORDING FORM FOR OBSERVATIONS
  • APPENDIX 2: QUESTIONNAIRE
  • APPENDIX 3: RESPONSES TO OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS