When you’re behind the wheel of a truck, wearing a seatbelt is a key part of staying safe. Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do on a daily basis, and we’ve gotten so used to it that we forget just how dangerous it is. We get too comfortable. We might even decide not to wear a seatbelt. But we’ll explain how seatbelts keep you safe and why it’s important to buckle up every time you drive – whether you’re driving your truck or your personal car.
Why you should wear a seatbelt
There are many reasons to wear a seatbelt. Though it might not seem like it offers much protection in the event of a crash, seatbelts actually do a few things to keep drivers safe. A seatbelt will…
1. Prevent the driver from being thrown out of the vehicle.
A driver can be killed if they’re thrown or ejected from the vehicle. A seatbelt will keep the driver in the truck and in place so that they don’t get thrown onto the road.
2. Distribute the force from the crash across the strongest parts of the body.
The seatbelt takes the force from the crash and spreads it over a wide area to reduce the chance of serious injury.
3. Slow down the driver’s momentum.
Just because the car stops doesn’t mean the driver does. They’ll keep going. When an object is moving, it will keep moving until a force acts on it. It’s one of the rules of physics. And that means that a driver who’s not wearing a seatbelt will fly into the windshield.
To explain in another way, if you’re going 40 mph and not wearing your seatbelt when you crash, you’ll slam into the windshield at 40 mph. But the seatbelt will keep that from happening.
4. Protect the head, neck, and spinal cord.
All three of these are rather important. They should be protected. That’s why it’s important to adjust your headrest properly and sit straight in your seat as you drive (and by the way, that also helps with preventing back pain as a truck driver.)
5. Help the driver keep the truck under control.
Seatbelts help keep the driver in their seated position when a crash happens. The truck will take the force of the crash and stop, but if the driver isn’t restrained they could be throwing around in the cab of the truck. They could hit the steering wheel, the dashboard, the gearshift, the door, the roof… But the seatbelt helps keep the truck driver in place, which gives them more control over the vehicle. And if they have more control, the chance of serious injury or death is reduced.
Make sure the seatbelt is able to do its job.
It’s important that the seatbelt is adjusted properly – if it isn’t, it won’t be as effective in protecting the driver. The seatbelt should be snug across the driver’s chest and lap with no looseness or slack. At the same time, it shouldn’t be digging in or chafing against the neck or stomach.
The shoulder belt is a must. The seatbelt was designed with both a lap belt and a shoulder belt so that the force from the impact of a crash can be spread over a larger, stronger portion of the body. The lap belt doesn’t provide enough security.
Another consideration is making sure the seatbelts are being maintained properly. If the seatbelt is broken or worn, it needs to be replaced or repaired. A broken seatbelt won’t be much help if you have a crash.
What about water or fire?
You might have heard other truck drivers say that they don’t want to wear a seatbelt because they want to be able to escape the truck if they crash into water or if the vehicle catches fire. But in the event of a crash, the seatbelt will help the driver stay conscious and will minimize injury. And that gives the driver a better chance of escape.
Seatbelts are very important to driver safety. As a truck driver, you log a lot of hours behind the wheel, so it’s crucial that you buckle up every time you get behind the wheel. The seatbelt isn’t there just for show – it’s meant to be worn to protect you. So, whether you drive a flatbed truck, tow truck, tractor-trailer, or box truck, take a second to click your seatbelt into place.
If you want to save money on your truck insurance, we would be happy to help. We can get multiple quotes for truck insurance to help you shop and compare rates from different carriers. We’re truck insurance experts, so we understand the risks you face and the coverages you need. So, to get your truck insurance quotes, fill out our online form or give us a call. We’re here to help with any of your insurance needs.