Safety

Seat Belt Stories

CDOT’s new seat belt video series is narrated by victims and family members describing horrific crashes in which the decision to buckle up made the difference between life and death.  Some videos describe the tragic consequences of not buckling up, and others feature stories of people who did buckle up and lived to talk about it.

Each story connects strangers involved in similar crashes. The goal is for the public to hear these stories as a reminder of the importance of wearing a seat belt. Colorado ranks below the rest of the country in seat belt use. Hearing personal stories such as these can be a powerful way to get more people to buckle up.  To view and download the video series, visit: https://bit.ly/SeatBeltStories.

The video series is an extension of CDOT’s Common Bond campaign, highlighting that even though Coloradans hold passionate opinions and may not agree on everything, we can all get behind seat belts and the importance of buckling up. For more about the Common Bond campaign, visit https://www.codot.gov/safety/seatbelts/a-common-bond.

Amy and Christy share a bond no parent wants. After both mothers lost their children in unbuckled crashes, they now want to spread awareness about the importance of buckling up.

Amy lost her oldest son, Brandon, to an unbuckled crash in the mountains more than 15 years ago. Her son and the front-seat passenger were both unbuckled and did not survive the crash. The three passengers in the back seat were all buckled and walked away uninjured.

Christy lost her daughter, Sammie, in July 2020. Sammie was not wearing her seat belt in the back seat and was ejected from the vehicle during a crash. The driver of the vehicle and front-seat passenger both were buckled and walked away without any injuries.

While these two crashes are years apart, the impact is still the same. Amy and Christy hope that by sharing their stories, other parents and drivers will recognize the importance of seat belts.

Logan and Jeremy have never met before, but their experiences tie them together. Both of them were involved in a vehicle crash — one was buckled, one was not.

Logan at age 17 in 2021 was driving with some friends to Sonic when he hit an unexpected sheet of black ice, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a tree. Logan and all his passengers were buckled, and all walked away uninjured. Logan is thankful to see his friends unharmed after such a traumatic event.

Jeremy at age 16 in 1999 was driving with his band friend to pick up their drummer on the way to a show. Unfortunately, he hit a rut in the road, causing him to lose control of the vehicle and crash into a tree. Jeremy, who was unbuckled, woke up in the hospital three months later with severe injuries. The passenger was wearing his seat belt and walked away with no severe injuries. Twenty years later, Jeremy still lives with the effects of his brain injury.

Logan and Jeremy share these seat belt stories with the hope of inspiring others to buckle up.

At age 4, Hannah lost her mother to a seat belt-related crash. On Colorado Highway 52 east, her mother was driving while not wearing a seat belt. When the cars in front of her began to stop, she was not able to brake quickly enough and rolled her car multiple times. Because she was not wearing a seat belt, she was ejected from the car and did not survive.

Hannah was properly restrained in her car seat and survived the crash with no injuries. Today, she works to prevent other families from experiencing the same loss. “You just never think that one small choice that someone makes is going to change somebody’s life forever. But it changed my life forever.”

Alex and Oscar may not know one another, but they have something important in common. Seat belts saved their lives.

Alex was going to her parents’ house to watch the Super Bowl. The road was icy, and she started to spin. Suddenly, the car crashed and had she not been wearing her seat belt, she thinks she would have broken her neck because the impact was so hard.

Oscar was up in the mountains, looking forward to enjoying a fun day of skiing with his friends. On the drive back to Denver, he lost control of his vehicle on the snow-packed road and crashed. He is convinced that the seat belt saved his life.

Alex and Oscar share these seat belt stories hoping that they will inspire others to buckle up.