New federal data reveals a modest increase in seat belt use among commercial truck and bus drivers.

Newly released statistics from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) data shows that 78 percent of professional drivers wore safety belts while operating behind the wheel in 2010, compared to 74 percent in 2009.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that LaHood called the rise “good news,” but said his agency wanted all drivers to buckle up when they get behind the wheel.

According to FMCSA, the number of commercial drivers that wear safety belts has increased by 14 percent since 2007. The 2010 survey observed 26,830 commercial drivers operating medium- to heavy-duty trucks and buses at 998 roadside sites nationwide. The survey found that safety belt use for commercial drivers and their occupants was higher, 80 percent, in states where law enforcement may stop drivers for not wearing a safety belt, versus 72 percent in states with weaker secondary enforcement belt use laws.

A regional breakdown showed that safety belt use rates for commercial drivers and their occupants were highest in the West, at 82 percent, compared with 79 percent in the South, 73 percent in the Midwest and 69 percent in the Northeast.