Seat Belts

A buckled in seat belt showing the number of lives saved by wearing one. 374,276 lives saved and counting. Buckle up and shift into safe.

For Better Odds, Always Buckle Up

The numbers don’t lie. Every day, seat belts save lives in Colorado. When you wear one, you instantly reduce your chance of injury or death by 50%. That’s why buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to prevent harm from happening to you. Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, seat belts help keep you safe. After all, a crash can happen to anyone. In fact, there’s a 1 in 40 chance that you will be involved in a crash this year. And most passengers who died in crashes weren’t buckled up.

Not only is wearing a seat belt required by law, but they protect you against the most unforgiving laws of all — physics. From low-speed crashes to violent rollovers, wearing one protects against intense amounts of force. Wearing your seat belt protects you and those around you. Make sure everyone in your car is buckled up. Together, we can save lives and keep Colorado safe. Buckle up and shift into safe.

When you don't buckle up, you endanger more than your own life. Drivers and passengers alike often fail to consider how unbuckled occupants continue moving, sometimes at high speed, during a crash. When that happens, they become projectiles capable of seriously hurting or killing other people in the vehicle.

Being unbuckled also increases your chance of being thrown from the car — regardless of your position within it. In fact, an unbelted rear-seat passenger increases the risk of fatality for the driver by 137%, compared with a belted rear-seat occupant.

There are countless reasons to buckle up while driving. Whether behind the wheel or in the back seat, every occupant in a vehicle is vulnerable to the physical forces of a crash. Remember to buckle up every time — and don't be afraid to ask others to do the same.


  • 88% of Coloradans buckle up — the highest use rate observed in the past 10 years, according to the 2023 Colorado Statewide Seat Belt Survey.
    • 13 Colorado counties are now above the 90% threshold for seat belt usage rate. This is a significant improvement from 2020 when only six counties were above 90%.
    • Only three counties fell below 80%: El Paso (79.35%), Pueblo (74.46%), and Jefferson (73.50%).
  • In 2023, there were 223 unbuckled vehicle occupant fatalities, an 8% decrease from 2022.
  • An estimated 70 lives could be saved every year if everyone in Colorado buckled up.
  • Seat belts dramatically improve chances of survival in a crash. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of severe injury or death by up to 65%.

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 — Colorado’s Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law requires all drivers under 18 and their passengers, regardless of their age, to wear seat belts. GDL is a primary enforcement, meaning teens can be pulled over solely 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.