Everybody Has a Reason to Buckle Up

They That Seat Belt Looks Good On You, Reason #156 to buckle up

Colorado has a seat belt problem. Despite the proven safety benefit of seat belts, 12% or more of Coloradans choose not to buckle up. Unfortunately, this translates into many preventable deaths on our roadways.

However, seat belt usage rates are improving. In 2019, the State of Colorado Statewide Seat Belt Survey found that 88% of people buckle up. This is the highest level ever recorded for Colorado, though still below the national average of 90%.  

To get more people to buckle up, we reframed the thinking behind this: Everyone who wears a seat belt has their own reasons for doing it. And if they don’t wear a seat belt, chances are they just haven’t really thought about the consequences. So we started a discussion. We put out billboards and radio spots encouraging people from all walks of life to talk about their personal reasons for buckling up. Serious reasons. Big reasons. Little reasons. Funny reasons. All leading up to one big reason - there is so much in life to live for.

So always prepare for the unexpected on our roadways and make sure every person in your vehicle buckles up every time, every trip.

CDOT launched a new public awareness campaign to draw attention to the importance of seat belt safety and the importance of buckling up.

CDOT’s “Reasons” campaign will remind drivers and passengers about the wide variety of personal reasons people may have for buckling up. Healthcare providers and first responders helped kick off the campaign with video testimonials about buckling up.

First responders and healthcare workers see first-hand the impact of wearing—and not wearing—a seat belt. CDOT asked a dozen of them to offer their perspectives on the importance of seat belt safety. Here are a few of their testimonials.

Beware of the Beltless

beware of the beltless

It's About You, but Not Just About You.

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 percent, compared with a belted rear-seat occupant.

The dangers posed by an unbelted driver can also extend well past the car itself. An unsecured driver who swerves to avoid a collision can easily be thrown into the passenger seat and lose control of the vehicle, endangering other vehicles and pedestrians alike.

Being unbuckled also makes you 30 times more likely to be ejected—one of the most lethal outcomes of crashes.

Whether behind the wheel or in the back seat, every occupant in a vehicle is vulnerable to the physical forces of a crash. So remember to buckle up every timeand don't be afraid to ask others to do the same.

Help Spread the Word

This is a landmark campaign working to address the public health crisis many don't think about: being unbuckled. You, your employer, school or community group can help us spread the word. Download and share the materials below to help us reduce the number of traffic deaths in Colorado.