Driver

Heavy Vehicle Drivers and Seat Belts

Wearing a seat belt reduces by half the risk of being killed or seriously injured in an accident. Despite this, the rate of seat belt use among heavy vehicle drivers is significantly lower than among other road users. In fact, in fatal accidents involving a heavy vehicle, only 38% of heavy vehicle drivers were wearing a seat belt.

Myths

Seat belts are uncomfortable and limit my movement.

Fact

Most drivers say that once their seats and shoulder straps have been properly adjusted, they do not experience discomfort and their movements are not restricted.

Seat belts could prevent me from getting out of a vehicle that is on fire or submerged.

Fact

Seat belts can prevent drivers from hitting their heads in the event of a collision, thus allowing them to remain conscious and get out of vehicles by themselves.

Moreover, fire or submersion is an issue in less than 5% of fatal accidents involving heavy vehicles.

I am a good driver with lots of experience. I don’t need to wear my seat belt.

Fact

Even good drivers can be involved in accidents caused by other drivers, bad weather or mechanical problems.

I’m not going fast. I don’t need to buckle up.

Fact

When a vehicle strikes an obstacle at 50 km/h, the weight of the driver is multiplied by 20 at the moment of impact. The driver can be thrown against the dashboard, the windshield, another passenger or even ejected from the vehicle.

Seat belts aren’t necessary for short trips.

Fact

Statistics show that the vast majority of accidents occur in dry weather, on known routes, within a 15-km radius from home or work—that is, on short trips in familiar environments.

I feel protected, since I’m driving a large vehicle.

Fact

  • Up to 70% of injuries sustained by drivers involved in accidents could have been lessened or avoided with proper seat belt use.
  • Around 40% of fatalities among drivers who were not wearing their seat belts could have been prevented with proper seat belt use.

The probability of serious injury or death varies depending on the type of accident. The higher the probability, the more wearing a seat belt can make a difference and protect you.

Remember!

There are no good reasons NOT to buckle up. Seat belts are one of the best possible protections that exist. Wearing one is a simple step that could save your life.

Always buckle up!

Penalties

If you fail to buckle up or if a seat belt has been removed, modified or made unusable, you are subject to:

  • a fine of $200 to $300
  • 3 demerit points
  • 3 points added to your heavy vehicle driver conduct record
  • 3 points added to the heavy vehicle operator’s conduct record