CDOT Unveils “Ejection Exhibits” Showing Deadly Consequences of Not Buckling Up

August 6, 2015 - Colorado Statewide/CDOT - You’re 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle if you’re not buckled up.

With this statistic in mind, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) has developed three eye-catching exhibits to spark the seat belt conversation in Pueblo County, which has the lowest seat belt use in the state. Using crash test dummies, the “Ejection Exhibits” simulate, but clearly show, the deadly consequences that can happen when you don’t wear your seat belt.

“Not taking the few seconds to put on a seat belt can have disastrous results, including ejection through the windshield, which is an often deadly consequence for unrestrained occupants,” said Carol Gould, Highway Safety Manager for CDOT. In the last two years, 18 (60 percent) of the 30 passenger vehicle fatalities in Pueblo County occurred when the occupants weren’t buckled up.

The seat belt use rate in Pueblo County is the lowest in the state. At 63 percent, it is almost 20 percent lower than the state average of 82 percent. “We believe these displays will stick with people and remind them to buckle up every time they’re in a vehicle, and we hope to implement similar programs in areas of low seat belt use,” said Gould. The three exhibits will be moved around Pueblo over the next two weeks to the following locations: the two Pueblo Walmart locations, Parkview Medical Center and St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center.

“Vehicles today are designed to crumple when in a crash, slowing the speed of the vehicle and you when you’re buckled up,” said Vic Janoskim, Trauma Program Coordinator at Parkview Medical Center. “But what happens when a person — who is not designed to crumple — isn’t buckled up and can’t slow down with the vehicle? You can be thrown into the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield, suffering not only severe external injuries, but possibly life threatening internal injuries when your organs rupture or you suffer a brain injury. Seat belts may not prevent every injury, but they are extremely good at preventing death.”

“Working in a hospital, we too often see the consequences of motorists not wearing their seat belts,” said Sara Ackerman, Trauma Nurse Coordinator at St. Mary-Corwin Medical Center. “It’s not only important to always buckle up, but you also have to wear your seat belt properly — low and tight over the lap with it properly fitted over your shoulder. Any unbuckled or not properly buckled passenger can became a danger to all occupants during a crash, turning into a projectile and injuring others along with themselves.”           

In 2013, seat belts saved an estimated 12,584 lives nationwide. An additional 2,800 lives could have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants five and older involved in fatal crashes had been properly restrained. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit