CDOT Snapchats Its Way to Teen Seat Belt Safety

September 21, 2016 - Traffic Safety - Social media campaign reminds teens of the importance of buckling up


STATEWIDE – In 2015, 16 Colorado teens died in motor vehicle crashes and were not wearing a seat belt. While wearing a seat belt is the single most effective way to survive a crash, unfortunately many teens fail to use them. To encourage teens to buckle up every ride, every time, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is launching an interactive campaign on Snapchat, the social media platform favored by teens across the state.

This week CDOT rolled out targeted, one-on-one seat belt safety messaging using emojis and Snapchat art to reach teens. The campaign is reaching teens at the time of day when they are most likely to drive – en route to school, at lunch, after class – with messages to buckle up before they get behind the wheel. The campaign will run through Friday, September 23.

Over 300 Colorado high schools received posters with a Snapcode and prompt to add the account. The strategically placed posters built buzz for the campaign and generated over 1,400 followers of CDOT’s Snapchat account.

Counties with the most teen traffic deaths in 2015 were Weld: 5; Arapahoe: 3; Larimer: 3; Denver: 2; El Paso: 2 and Pueblo: 2

“Reaching teens with seat belt messages isn’t always easy,” states Sam Cole, Traffic Safety Communications Manager, CDOT. “Our goal is to reach teens where they are most often, and right now, that’s on social media. We want to communicate in a way that feels relatable to them.”

Themed Snapchat geofilters will be distributed to 20 high schools across the state, with a focus on ones in high teen fatality counties. The campaign has already seen promising success; it boasts a 90% open rate, far above Snapchat’s average of 66%.

“We want to ensure teens are practicing seat belt safety now, and forever,” states Cole. “Buckling up is the single most effective way teens can protect themselves in a car crash. Through Snapchat, we’ve been ble to communicate one-on-one with teens in a way they’re familiar with and drive home the importance of always wearing a seat belt.”

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teens (NHTSA). Wearing a seat belt reduces the chance of fatal injury by 45% in a crash. In addition, unbuckled drivers and passengers are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash and increase the risk of death and injury to others in the vehicle by 40%.


Sam Cole, CDOT Traffic Safety Communications Manager

Natalie Pramenko, Principal, Arapahoe High School

James Englert, School Resource Officer, Arapahoe High School

All opportunities are available upon request. Media are encouraged to interact with CDOT’s Snapchat account and can add the username clickfor_co. Please contact Sam Cole, Colorado Department of Transportation (303) 757-9484 o / (303) 859-1304 c / [email protected]