Most Coloradans are buckling up, but still not enough

News Release

September 8, 2022 - Statewide - Pueblo County has worst buckle-up rate, Grand County has best, Weld County most improved

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Statewide — According to the Colorado Department of Transportation’s 2022 Colorado Statewide Seat-Belt Study, Coloradans show only minor improvements in wearing seat belts behind the wheel. The statewide seat belt use increased marginally to 87.0% from 86.6%, and Colorado still trails behind the national seat belt use rate of 90%. Simply put, too many Colorado drivers aren’t buckling up. The full report can be downloaded as an PDF here. 

There have been 146 unbuckled fatalities on Colorado roads since the start of 2022.

Overall, Colorado has seen a 6% increase in seat belt use over the last nine years. The largest improvement is with commercial vehicles, which improved to 79.2% from 65.5% in 2013.

Weld County, whose seat belt usage has remained amongst the lowest in the state for numerous years, showed an encouraging increase from 71% to 80% in 2022. The lowest seat belt usage rates by county are:

  • Weld County (80.1%)
  • Fremont County (78.1%)
  • Chaffee County (69.2%)
  • Pueblo County (67.6%)

Seat belt use by county, with Weld County at 80.1%,  Fremont County at 78.1%,  Chaffee County at 69.2%,  Pueblo County at 67.6%, Grand County at 96.3%,  Garfield County at 96.3%,  Arapahoe County at 93.8% and Denver County at 93.6%..

Of the counties observed, 11 counties scored a rate above 90.0%. This is an improvement of two counties since 2021, and an improvement of five counties since 2020. The counties with the highest seat belt usage statewide are:

  • Grand County (96.3%)
  • Garfield County (96.3%)
  • Arapahoe County (93.8%)
  • Denver County (93.6%).

The survey shows seat belt usage in five vehicle categories: cars, vans, SUVs, passenger trucks and commercial vehicles. Notably, the recent improvements for pickup truck drivers vanished, dropping from 88.1% to 78.5%. Passenger vehicle drivers modestly increased their seat belt use to 87.6%. Vans increased from 88.1% to 89.0%, and SUVs increased from 85.9% to 90.3%. Commercial operators increased from 76.2% to 79.2%, marking the largest increase by vehicle type.

“When you’re operating a vehicle, you must ensure that everyone, including yourself, is wearing a seat belt,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “Seat belt enforcement periods are a reminder that wearing a seat belt minimizes your chances of death or serious injury in a car crash. You don’t want to become a human projectile.”

This year, CDOT partnered with the Colorado State Patrol and local law enforcement agencies for three Click It or Ticket enforcement periods, citing 2,735 drivers for improper restraint use. The law enforcement agencies that issued the most citations were the Castle Rock Police Department (289), Colorado Springs Police Department (285), Colorado State Patrol (229), Loveland Police Department (197), and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (157).

The most recent Click It or Ticket enforcement from July 25 to Aug. 5 saw 788 drivers cited for improper restraint use, including 38 drivers who had an improperly restrained child under the age of 15 in their vehicle.

“The majority of Coloradans are doing the right thing, and seeing any increase in seat belt use is encouraging,” said Chief Matthew C. Packard, Colorado State Patrol. “But 87% means there are still Coloradans who are failing to buckle up for their safety. I want those folks to know that seatbelts significantly increase your chances of surviving a collision. Crashes aren't planned, buckle up!”

  • Learn more about Click It or Ticket enforcement and Colorado’s seat belt laws at
  • For Spanish campaign information, visit

Colorado's Seat Belt Laws

Adults — Colorado has a secondary enforcement law for adult drivers and front-seat passengers. Drivers can be ticketed for violating the seat belt law if they are stopped for another traffic violation.

Teens — All drivers under 18 years old and their passengers, regardless of their age, must wear seat belts. This is a primary enforcement, meaning teens can be pulled over simply for not wearing a seat belt or having passengers without seat belts.

Children — Colorado's Child Passenger Safety law is a primary enforcement, meaning the driver can be stopped and ticketed if an officer sees an unrestrained or improperly restrained child under age 16 in the vehicle.

From 2016 to 2020, 35 children under the age of 14 were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in Colorado. Among these, more than half were in an improperly used or installed car seat — or no car seat at all. Parents and caregivers can learn more about Colorado child passenger safety laws, recommendations and recalls at

About Click it or Ticket

Click It or Ticket is a nationwide campaign from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Since Click It or Ticket was introduced in Colorado in 2002, statewide seat belt use has increased from 72% to 86%. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit