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4 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 1.1 BACKGROUND 1.2 SCOPE Although FMCSA requires use of safety belts by com- Appendix A contains the Statement of Work (SOW) for mercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, research cited by the research project. According to this SOW, this research FMCSA showed that less than one-half of these CMV drivers project focused on five principal objectives. actually used safety belts. First, the research team summarized available information In 2003, FMCSA completed a study of CMV safety belt in the safety literature and in other sources on the factors that usage, conducted by the Center for Applied Research, Inc. influenced CMV drivers to use or not to use safety belts in The study estimated an overall safety belt usage of 48%. Large their daily operations. This information included a special national fleets averaged a usage rate of 54%. The rate for inde- focus on driver motivational factors. The literature review pendent and local fleets was estimated to be 44%. These usage identified and annotated past and current ongoing research on rates compare with a national usage rate of 79% for passenger safety belt use by CMV drivers, not only in the United States, car drivers. but in other countries as well (Australia and the United King- In February 2005, a Central Missouri State University dom were key examples). study of safety belt use in Missouri reported a use rate of Second, the research team identified motivational factors 58.8% based on 15,440 observations at 250 sites through- affecting safety belt usage through surveys of fleet managers out the state (Depue 2004). Although higher than the and drivers and structured interviews conducted through coop- FMCSA study, these rates still fall well below the passen- erating associations. ger car rate. Third, the research team explored documented accounts and other research to isolate unsolved problems and other The FMCSA also reports that, in 2002, of the 588 CMV factors that have limited CMV safety belt usage. This explo- drivers killed in crashes, more than one-half were not wear- ration included a review of ergonomic and human engineer- ing safety belts. Of those drivers ejected from their trucks, ing factors in design and use or non-use of safety belts in 80% were not wearing safety belts. Other countries such as commercial trucks, as well as approaches to facilitating Australia and the United Kingdom have experienced similar safety belt use by truck manufacturers. results and have undertaken programs to encourage CMV The fourth component of the research project was a dis- drivers to wear safety belts as a part of their daily operating cussion of techniques used by transportation managers-- practices. especially fleet managers--to encourage and potentially As a part of its goal to reduce fatal truck involved accidents enforce safety belt usage as a part of fleet management safety by 2008 to 1.65 fatalities per 100 million truck vehicle miles operations. These practices were gathered from the literature traveled, FMCSA is seeking to increase safety belt use among review and responses to the fleet manager and driver surveys. CMV drivers. To this end, in December 2003, the U.S. Depart- This component also included a description of the regulatory ment of Transportation (USDOT) announced that it had estab- framework that has influenced safety belt use. lished the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership Finally, the research team developed recommendations for (the Partnership). The Partnership is planning to conduct out- additional research to improve knowledge on motivational reach activities promoting safety belt use and participate in factors affecting safety belt usage. and implement safety belt-related research. Throughout the conduct of this study, the research team FMCSA initiated this research project so that it could learn coordinated its efforts with the Partnership to ensure that sur- about motivating factors that influence CMV drivers in decid- veys and activities were consistent with the work of the Part- ing whether to wear safety belts and about any research and nership, especially in the area of surveys and research activities. best practices that address safety belt usage. FMCSA is also interested in ongoing surveys to determine the effectiveness of 1.3 APPROACH efforts to increase safety belt usage. This synthesis was specif- ically designed to support this FMCSA interest and its goals to Information on factors affecting CMV driver safety belt increase safety belt usage. use was obtained through several major approaches. The ini-

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5 tial effort was a review of the literature that encompassed the list of fleet managers who had responded to previous surveys. following: Other fleet manager respondents were identified in conjunc- tion with the American Transportation Research Institute CMV safety research, both in the United States and in (ATRI). Survey forms were also distributed with the assis- other countries. tance of industry trade associations. Motivational research in related fields. Surveys of CMV drivers were also conducted. The format Company practices and approaches to documenting and of the survey questionnaire was similar to that of the fleet encouraging safety belt usage. manager form, and many of the questions were similar. How- Industrial and transportation safety management in other ever, these questions focused on the individual driver's own than CMV transport modes, including commercial and attitudes and behavior. The distribution of these question- public bus and transit modes. naires to drivers was primarily through the efforts of ATRI, which conducted surveys at truck stops. Additionally, the The literature review also included a review of the efforts research team conducted several interviews at an industry and success of the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin- event and at a fleet location. istration's (NHTSA) earlier initiative to increase safety belt Survey responses are found in Chapter 4 for fleet managers use by passenger car drivers. Although factors relating to and in Chapter 5 for CMV drivers. safety belt use by CMV drivers and passenger car drivers To focus on ergonomic and physical issues relating to could be different in some respects, the information in the safety belt use, the research team canvassed truck manufac- NHTSA effort provided a baseline and starting point for this turers to identify and summarize technological approaches to research project. dealing with barriers to safety belt usage. The staff of the Truck The primary means for obtaining information for this re- Manufacturers Association (TMA) was especially helpful in search project were surveys. Two parallel survey forms were this effort. employed: (a) one for CMV fleet managers and (b) one for Drawing from the literature review, surveys, and analysis CMV drivers. The surveys included both objective and sub- of ergonomic factors, the research team summarized the prin- jective questions. For example, there were objective questions cipal factors and presented these to help guide the Partnership asking fleet managers about their particular safety manage- in planning and implementing outreach efforts to encourage ment practices relating to safety belts. Subjective questions increased safety belt use by CMV drivers. addressed the reasons some drivers did not wear safety belts The synthesis concludes with recommendations for research and the relationship between non-belt use and other risky and development (R&D) that might be performed to further behaviors. Both objective and subjective questions have value, improve knowledge and enable development of practices that but the distinction between them should be kept in mind. will increase safety belt usage. The surveys included yes-no, multiple choice, and 5-point Appendices to the synthesis include the SOW for this scale items. The survey forms also included basic informa- research project, the fleet manager survey form, the CMV tion on respondents and their carriers. driver interview guide, the driver focus group interview The fleet manager survey was distributed primarily by U.S. guide, and an overview of NHTSA's passenger car safety Mail using a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute mailing belt campaign.