Wearing a seat belt can save a life or prevent serious injury in a rollover accident.

But federal studies in conjunction with AAA show that almost three-fourths of truck crashes are caused primarily or solely by a passenger car. Finally, injured or unconscious drivers cannot easily escape from a submerged or burning truck. Seat belts minimize injuries.

Finally, follow up after your safety meeting. Set rules and enforce them, or drivers will ignore them. Equip your trucks with orange, yellow, or neon green seat belts. They stand out, and you can see at a glance if they are being used. Check your drivers as they exit and enter the yard and at jobsites.

Finally, if enhancing safety was not enough, not wearing seat belts is against the law in most states. Usually police will issue a citation if they stop a vehicle for another offense. But police in some states can stop and cite a driver solely for not buckling up.

Next time, we'll look at ways technology can prevent crashes.

Paul Abelson is a former director of the Technology and Maintenance Council of the American Trucking Association and is currently on the Board of Truck Writers of North America. E-mail