DriveCam reveals low seat belt usage

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DriveCam Inc., a global Driver Risk Management company, announced that seat belt usage statistics remain low despite tougher seat belt laws and increasingly stringent corporate policies. Risk InfoCenter by DriveCam analysis of risky driving behavior data gathered from 1,985 commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in the distribution sector reveals that 1,286, or nearly 65 percent, of them had at least one seat belt violation.

DriveCam’s analysis follows the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s release of its Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers 2007 Survey earlier this year. The survey provides estimates of seat belt use by drivers and other occupants of medium and heavy duty CMVs based on observations of CMV drivers and CMV other occupants at 654 sites. The survey revealed that the 2007 overall safety belt usage rate for drivers of all medium and heavy duty trucks and buses combined was 65 percent.

“The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s survey inspired us to conduct our own analysis of data gathered in our repository of more than seven million risky driving behaviors and we found that seat belt usage rates were even lower among drivers already exhibiting other risky driving behaviors,” said Del Lisk, vice president of safety services at DriveCam. “In other words, drivers taking more risk behind the wheel were less likely to buckle up. Despite legislation, awareness campaigns and corporate mandates that drivers buckle up, only 35 percent of drivers in video meta data we reviewed were constantly wearing seat belts.”

Exceptional forces such as hard braking, sudden acceleration, swerving or collision trigger DriveCam’s in-vehicle video event recorders to capture critical seconds of sights and sounds inside and outside vehicles. Certified Driving Risk Analysts review saved events, assign them a risk score and forward with comments to fleet managers so they can discuss the events with drivers and provide coaching to improve driving behavior. Analysts note whether or not drivers are wearing seat belts when they review risky driving events.

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“Often, our fleet customers overestimate their seat belt compliance rates and are shocked when they realize that many of their drivers routinely do not buckle up,” added Lisk. “Without DriveCam’s video evidence, they would have no way of knowing what percentage of drivers are actually wearing seat belts when they are out in the field.”