Truck drivers urged to use seat belts over holiday season - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Truck drivers urged to use seat belts over holiday season

FRANKFORT, KY (KFVS) -

You hear it every holiday season: drive safely and buckle up. Now you're hearing it again from the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety.

And this year, officials are putting a special emphasis on those traveling in pickup trucks.

"Data [indicates] that a majority of pickup truck occupants do not buckle up," said Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock. "So we're asking them to always remember to 'Buckle up in your Truck.'"

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belt use in pickup trucks is lower than any other type of passenger vehicle on the road.

A survey shows the seat belt usage rate for pickup trucks was 79 percent in Kentucky in 2014, compared with 87.5 percent for passenger cars.

"There are too many people dying on our roads," said KOHS Executive Director Bill Bell. "Many of those lives could have been saved with a simple snap of the belt."

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, of the 521 motor vehicle fatalities recorded by law enforcement in Kentucky last year, 347 were coded in crash reports as a light truck, which includes vans, SUVs and pickup trucks. Of the 347 killed, 54 percent were unrestrained.

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