Seatbelt (Rollover)


DATE: 05/30/2010


REFERENCE: CMV Safety Belt Program


How the Incident Occurred

Just minutes from completing his run for the day, a truck driver lost control rounding a curve and his rig overturned to the passenger side. Because he was not wearing his safety belt, the driver was ejected out the passenger side window and ultimately crushed by the weight and momentum of his out of control vehicle.

Injury/Damage Information

The driver was DOS and the tractor-trailer was a total loss. He was deadheading home and there was no cargo loss. There were no other vehicles involved in the collision.

Causative factors

This driver had logged hundreds of thousands of accident-free miles. His driving record was impeccable, and in fact, he’d just recently won a company "Driver of the Month" safety award. He was well-liked by all of his fellow-drivers, supervisors and dispatchers as a very "nice guy" who never caused any trouble and always got the job done on time. He left behind a wife and two small children.

Investigation and inquiry revealed that it was known amongst his peers that he was not in the habit of wearing his safety belt. In order to avoid citations and company violations it was discovered that he would actually pull the shoulder belt over only when he knew someone might be watching and would only drape the belt across his lap without buckling it. He did not trust safety belts. He had never received seat belt safety training.

Remedial actions

  • Implement mandatory seatbelt safety policy, train and communicate to all drivers.
  • Encourage "Behavior Observation" amongst drivers to check for compliance.
  • Encourage positive safety compliance by employees; utilize "punitive" disciplinary measures as a last resort.
  • Treat "seatbelt" convictions with at least equal weight as speeding or other moving MVR convictions.
  • Emphasize that wearing your seatbelt reflects a positive safety attitude and reflects on your overall driving ability. Purposely shortcutting or evading safety measures is like playing Russian roulette – eventually the chamber has a bullet.

Click it or Ticket – Do it for those you love!