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17 20% 72% of drivers stated that they wore their safety belt all or most 5 of the time. A reverse bell curve is found in these results (see 2% Figure 2), with very few drivers falling in the range of 6% to 6-24 74%. There is a spike in the strong non-user category--those 2% who wear safety belts 5% of the time or less--accounting for 25-49 4% one-fifth of the interviewed population. 50-74 Drivers had similar behavior regarding use of a safety belt 61% while driving their personal cars. Though individual drivers 11% 75-94 did not correlate exactly, overall, there was a strong compar- 95 ative pattern for the interviewed population (see Figure 2). A third question asked drivers to consider why they did or Figure 1. Safety belt use by CMV drivers while driving did not choose to wear a safety belt. Among all drivers who trucks. responded to this question, the greatest factor in making the choice to wear a safety belt was `safety,' representing 39% · Part 5: Driver Demographics. The interviewer esti- (see Table 6). Other reasons for using a safety belt included mated age, height, weight, and gender of the drivers. the coercive factor found in law enforcement (19%), having seen or been in a "shocking" accident (11%), and having received a fine (9%). Approximately 12% suggested that they 5.2 PRINCIPAL INTERVIEW RESULTS made the choice to wear a safety belt simply out of habit. Respondents who listed reasons they chose to not wear a The following represent the findings of the research team's safety belt offered the discomfort of the device (38%) and collection of data through 238 interviews of CMV drivers personal choice and general dislike of safety belts (34%) as collected at truck stops in Georgia and Wisconsin. their top motivations. Nearly 14% felt that wearing a safety belt was actually more dangerous than not wearing one for 5.2.1 Part 1: General Questions reasons such as being trapped in a fire or during a rollover. Another 8% claimed that their mobility was limited by safety The first part of the interview guide was designed to make belts, especially while negotiating turns in urban areas. an initial determination of driver safety belt use and the factors In question four, respondents were given a choice of five that contributed to use or non-use of a safety belt. The first likely reasons not to wear a safety belt and were allowed to question asked drivers what percentage of the time they wore offer their own answers as well. They were able to choose as their safety belts while driving a truck. Because answers could many answers as they thought were valid (see Table 7). Of the range anywhere from 0% to 100%, they were placed into six 175 respondents who felt valid reasons existed, 64% stated that categories: 5% or less, 6 to 24%, 25 to 49%, 50 to 74%, 75 to the discomfort of safety belts was a valid reason. Nearly one- 94% and 95% or greater. Results indicated that 61% of the half of the respondents thought that it was legitimate not to drivers surveyed stated that they wore their safety belts 95% wear a safety belt because it represented an infringement of of the time or more (see Figure 1). Many of those who reported rights and because drivers could become trapped in the vehi- using their safety belts in this category did not use them 100% cle after a crash. More than one-quarter believed that forget- of the time in order to negotiate sharp turns in urban areas at ting to put on the safety belt was a valid reason, and 14% low speeds, pull into the company lot, or drive their truck in indicated that the trouble and effort it took to use a safety belt reverse. Placed together with the 11% who reported wearing was a valid reason not to wear one. In the interview guide, their belts between 75% and 94% of the time, approximately there was an option to choose other reasons that the respondent 70 % of Interview 60 Population 50 40 Driving a Truck 30 Driving a Car 20 10 0 95% 49% 74% 94% % of the Time Safety Belt is Worn Figure 2. Safety belt use by CMV drivers while driving a truck and while driving a car.
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18 TABLE 6 Reasons drivers wear or do not wear safety belts WHY DO YOU CHOOSE TO WEAR A SAFETY BELT? NUMBER PERCENTAGE Safety 74 39% Because it is the law 36 19% Out of habit 22 12% Seen or been in an accident 21 11% Have received a fine or ticket 16 9% Company policy 6 3% Because of children 6 3% When driving through weigh scales 5 3% Because of other drivers 2 1% Total 188 WHY DO YOU CHOOSE NOT TO WEAR A SAFETY BELT? NUMBER PERCENTAGE Uncomfortable 19 38% Personal choice or general dislike 17 34% Because safety belts are dangerous 7 14% Need mobility while maneuvering 4 8% Truck is not equipped with a safety belt 2 4% Do not know 1 2% Total 50 believed might be valid for not wearing a safety belt; few chose the safety belt either uncomfortable or difficult to use (see the to take advantage of this option, and none chose the same ergonomics assessment of this problem in Chapter 7 of this answer. These responses included if a driver was fatigued, if synthesis), and 33% stated that the length of the shoulder har- the driver did not feel he or she needed a belt, if the belt was ness, or its tightness, was problematic. More than 22% of too small for the driver, or if the driver feared decapitation. drivers indicated that the limited range of motion caused dis- comfort and difficulties, and finally, one-fifth mentioned the belt's position--either too high or too low--as a cause for 5.2.2 Part 2: Functionality their problems. Part 2 began with a general question on usability. It stated: The second question of this section asked what the biggest If truck safety belts were more functional, comfortable, and complaint about safety belts was for the driver. Approxi- easy to use, would you be more inclined to wear them? Of the mately 62% of drivers interviewed provided a response to this 238 respondents, only 76, or 32%, said yes to this question. open-ended question; there were a variety of `most signifi- This could be attributed to the strong non-users, and those cant' complaints listed, and results were placed into 19 sepa- who always wore a safety belt: they generally did not feel that rate categories (see Table 8). Of those providing an answer to there was anything that would change their minds, or, in the this question, 28% stated that they had no complaints regard- case of the latter group, they already wore their safety belts ing safety belts. It should be noted that most of those who did all of the time. not respond--38% of the total group interviewed--generally For those 76 respondents who replied yes to the question did not have complaints about safety belts, and thus did not of usability, an additional option was given for four under- provide an answer. Consequently, of the 148 who did indicate lying issues that make their safety belts difficult to use or an answer to this question, 106 listed actual complaints as seen uncomfortable. These issues were (1) limited range of arm in Table 8. The majority of complaints referred to comfort and shoulder motion, (2) the lap belt or shoulder harness was issues regarding safety belts, while there was a small faction not long enough/too tight, (3) shoulder harness position was whose primary complaint was law enforcement's role in awkward, and (4) the belts rode too high or too low. safety belt use and infringement on personal rights (approxi- Respondents were able to choose as many as they wished. mately 9%). The most widespread complaints of the 106 were Of the 76 drivers who said yes to this question, 36% indicated that the safety belts rubbed or vibrated against the neck or that the awkwardness of the shoulder harness position made shoulders (27%), safety belts locked frequently when the TABLE 7 Valid reasons for not wearing a safety belt VALID REASONS FOR NOT WEARING A SAFETY BELT NUMBER PERCENTAGE It is uncomfortable 112 64% It is an infringement of rights 86 49% Driver could become trapped if there is an accident 82 47% Driver forgets to put it on 50 29% It is too much trouble and effort 24 14%
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19 TABLE 8 Chief complaints about safety belts TABLE 10 Changes that could potentially make a safety belt easier to use TOTAL RESPONSES NO. % Driver indicates no complaints 42 28% TOTAL RESPONSES NO. % INDICATES A COMPLAINT NO. % Drivers indicated nothing could make Safety belt rubs or vibrates against neck/shoulder 29 27% safety belts easier to use 68 40% Safety belt locks 16 15% INDICATES A CHANGE NO. % Safety belt is uncomfortable 15 14% If the belt were adjustable 22 13% Safety belt is too tight 10 9% Softer material/more cushion 17 10% Safety belt has limited range of motion 8 8% Racing harness/4-point system 17 10% Mandatory safety belt use is an infringement of rights 6 6% Automatic 12 7% Safety belts are not safe 5 5% If it were a lap belt only 9 5% Material is too hard 3 3% Buckle easier to use 5 3% Safety belts are mandatory 3 3% Lap belt is uncomfortable 2 2% No locking 3 2% Dislike safety belts in general 2 2% Looser 2 1% Forget to wear 2 2% Emergency release 2 1% Belt loosens up 1 1% Vehicle does not start w/out belt on 1 1% Shoulder strap gets twisted 1 1% Reminder voice 1 1% Driver is required to take it off and on frequently 1 1% Fit bigger drivers 1 1% Needs an emergency release 1 1% Other 10 6% Blocks mirror 1 1% Buckle gets stuck 1 1% Softer or cushioned safety belt material and a 4-point harness system, such as those used by race car drivers, were each driver moved around the cab (15%), and safety belts were indicated as a potential solution by 17 drivers (10% of the generally uncomfortable (14%). total responses for each category). The third question of this section asked the drivers what, in their experience, made a safety belt easy to use (see Table 9). Respondents were given a choice of four answers and also had 5.2.3 Part 3: Carrier/Driver Interactions the option to provide an answer that might not have been included. The drivers could select as many as they liked. Of all The third section of this interview focused on interactions drivers interviewed, nearly one-half (46%) stated that a safety between drivers and the carriers who employed them (if they belt that was easy to take off and put on made that system easy worked for a carrier, i.e., if they were not independent owner/ to use. Drivers also indicated that safety belts were easy to use operators). The first question asked drivers if there were com- (1) if they did not interfere with driving (39%), (2) when they pany policies requiring safety belt use: 51% of drivers indi- were easy to position (36%), and (3) when they were not too cated that there was a policy, while 37% indicated there was tight (31%). Drivers also mentioned that comfortable and auto- none, and 11% were uncertain if there was a safety belt policy matic safety belts allowed for greater ease of use. or not. The final question of this section asked respondents what Those who indicated that there was a safety belt use policy changes could make a safety belt less difficult to use. This at their company were subsequently asked whether violations was an open-ended question, and answers were placed into of the policy lead to negative consequences. Of the 123 drivers the 14 categories listed in Table 10. Of the 170 responses that answered yes, 144 responses were collected. Those who recorded, 68 drivers (40%) indicated that there was nothing indicated tiered penalties generally stated that there was a rep- that could make a safety belt less difficult to use; however, rimand, a suspension, and finally termination, thus accounting 102 drivers did indicate that a change would make safety for more responses than respondents (see Table 11). belts easier to use, including 22 (13%) who believed that if safety belts were adjustable they would be less difficult. TABLE 11 Company/other penalties for not wearing a safety belt TABLE 9 Attributes that make a safety belt easy to use PENALTIES No. % % of No penalty 54 44% REASON NO. Total Written up/ reprimand 31 25% It does not fit too tight 74 31% Uncertain 28 23% Termination 10 8% It does not interfere with my driving 94 39% Suspension 5 4% It is easy to put on/take off 110 46% Yes, but no specifics 6 5% It is easy to position 85 36% Left up to the law/tickets 6 5% It is an automatic belt Company fine 1 1% 2 1% Loss of radio 1 1% It is comfortable 2 1% Other 2 2%
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20 TABLE 12 Rewards or education offered by employers % of 54 % of all drivers w/ TYPE OF REWARD OR EDUCATION No. responses edu./rewards None 103 43% -- Safety belt covered in training 30 13% 56% Safety belt covered in regular safety meetings 10 4% 18% Uncertain/no answer 81 34% -- Safety bonus/rewards 7 3% 13% Yes, no specifics 4 2% 7% Educational video 2 1% 4% Shock video 1 0% 2% Of the 144 responses to this question, 54 drivers (44%) strong non-users or wore safety belts all the time. This could indicated that there were no penalties for violating company also be said for the drivers who chose not to answer the ques- safety belt use policy, 31 drivers (slightly more than 25%) tion. Another 12% indicated an uncertainty about whether stated that a penalty was given in the form of a verbal or writ- incentives would work, because enforcing compliance was ten reprimand, and approximately 28 drivers (23%) were nearly impossible while drivers were on the road. The remain- uncertain what the penalty was for violating their safety belt der suggested incentives such as money and monetary bonuses use policy, indicating that penalties were probably not given (14%), gift cards or other small rewards (4%), and awards out at those companies. Only 10 drivers (8%) listed termina- (1%). Also listed as incentives were educational opportunities, tion as part of their company's safety belt use policy. personal reasons, safety benefits, and increased enforcement of The second question of this section asked drivers if their laws and policies. company offered driver rewards or positive recognition for wearing their safety belts, or if they offered any educational courses on safety belt use. This was an open-ended question 5.2.4 Part 4: Trucking-Related Demographics with answers being placed into eight general categories (see Table 12). In this final section of interview questions, drivers were Of 238 drivers surveyed, only 54 drivers (23%) indicated briefly asked about demographics relating to their driving his- that rewards or education were offered by their companies. tory and their companies. Drivers were first asked how many Of those who indicated that they had received education or years they had been driving (see Figure 3). Generally, there were eligible for rewards, 30 drivers (56%) stated that safety was a downward trend from drivers who had 0 to 5 years of belt use had been covered in training and just under 19% experience to those who had decades of experience. Some stated that safety belt use was covered in regular safety meet- interviewers were told that an influx of new drivers in what ings. Nearly 13% responded that safety bonuses or rewards the drivers saw as a struggling economy outside of the truck- were given by their companies. ing industry was responsible for this trend. The final question of this section asked drivers what type Respondents were then asked whether they were long-haul of incentives would motivate them to wear their safety belts. or short-haul drivers. Not surprisingly, more than 86% were The answers to this open-ended question were organized into long-haul drivers. This finding supports an argument that 11 categories (see Table 13). Of the 163 who responded to long-haul truck drivers have a higher than average safety belt this question, 45% stated that no incentives could change use rate. Alternatively, LTL and courier drivers indicated their safety belt usage. These drivers were probably either during focus groups that short hauls and regular deliveries Number of Drivers TABLE 13 Potential incentives to increase safety belt use 70 60 INCENTIVES No. % 50 There are no incentives 73 45% 40 30 Money/ monetary bonuses 23 14% 20 Uncertain 19 12% 10 More education on consequences/shock 18 11% 0 Gift cards/ phone cards/small rewards 6 4% 16 yrs 21 yrs 26 yrs 31 yrs 36 yrs 40 s 11 rs 6- rs rs r 0y y 5y +y General safety benefits are incentive enough 5 3% 5 0 5 0 5 10 -1 -2 -2 -3 -3 -4 0- Personal reasons, such as having children 3 2% More enforcement/higher fines 3 2% Years Driving Commercially Awards 1 1% Avoiding enforcement 1 1% Figure 3. CMV drivers' years Other/off topic 11 7% of driving experience.
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21 required them to take their safety belts off more often. The and height, respectively, of the drivers interviewed. The data likely conclusion is that length of haul and sector of industry for the 20% who were non-users (wore safety belts less than may have a high correlation to safety belt usage. 5% of the time) were isolated, and their demographics were Additional responses in this section showed that 68% of similar to those demographics indicated in these figures. respondents worked in a for-hire capacity or for a for-hire trucking company. Of these, 79% indicated that they were Number of Drivers truckload carriers, while 17% were LTL carriers. LTL carri- 100 ers were more likely to have frequent stops and be short-haul 80 60 carriers. 40 20 0 5.2.5 Part 5: Driver Demographics 15 50 20 00 25 50 0 0+ 30 1 2 2 30 0- 0- 0- 0- 10 Finally, the interviewers estimated four demographic clas- sifications for each driver interviewed immediately following Weight Category each interview. Of the 238 drivers interviewed, only 8 were women. Figures 4, 5, and 6 indicate the estimated age, weight, Figure 5. Estimated weight of drivers interviewed. 100 Number of Drivers Number of Drivers 80 150 100 60 50 40 0 20 6 + r5 6 6 6- 5- 6 0 de 6 6 un 5- 6 1 21-35 35-50 50+ 5- Age Height Cateory Figure 4. Estimated age Figure 6. Estimated height of drivers interviewed. of drivers interviewed.