Skip to main content
Skip global navigation and go to main content

CSA - Sample 5 Why's for Seat Belt Violations


A roadside inspection report for a motor carrier showed the following violation: §392.16 - Failing to use seat belt while operating a CMV.

The motor carrier will want to find out the root cause of this Unsafe Driving BASIC violation.

Question 1: Why did this event take place?

Answer: The driver does not use his seat belt routinely and was caught this time.

Question 2: Why does he not use the seat belt?

Answer: Because he fears being killed or maimed during a rollover if he remains in the vehicle.

Question 3: Why do drivers fear being killed or maimed during a rollover if wearing a seat belt?

Answer: During rollover crashes, drivers often drown, get crushed, or get burned.

Question 4: Why does the driver believe this?

Answer: Another driver told him it is better to be ejected than remain in the vehicle.

Question 5: Why does your driver and others believe this?

Answer: It is a current myth making its way through the driver rumor mills.

Possible Solutions

What might be some solution(s) based on the safety management cycle and the root cause(s)?

  • Draft a policy indicating the consequences if the driver does not wear his or her seat belt while operating your CMV. Be consistent in enforcement.
  • Train on the importance of wearing seat belts during new hire orientation, safety meetings, and refresher training.
  • Have an open door policy with supervisors if drivers have questions about safety issues or whether specific myths have any truth or merit.
  • Dispel myths during training and other communication such as posters, paycheck stuffers, and the like.
  • Review applicants’ roadside inspection histories in the Unsafe Driving BASIC while working for other USDOT numbers. Use the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA’s) Pre-employment Screening Program (PSP) driver reports. Develop hiring standards in your company policies based on these reports.
  • Review the drivers’ Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) when screening applicants, looking for seat belt violations in any kind of vehicles. Review for this violation during annual reviews of driving records in accordance with §391.25. Have a hiring policy and retention policy based on what is discovered.
  • Assign the role of monitoring roadside inspection and crash reports for violations such as seat belt usage. Look for trends for specific drivers, terminals, or the company as a whole.
  • Based on monitoring and tracking, enforce policies and procedures, institute refresher training, monitor specific training efforts for effectiveness and so forth.