CDOT study shows pickup truck drivers buckling up more

Traffic Safety Pulse News

According to a recent study by CDOT, statewide seat belt usage overall remained essentially unchanged in 2021 but increased dramatically in pickup trucks, improving from 78.3% to 88.1%. Moreover, in the last 10 years there has been a 23% increase in seat belt use among pickup occupants while the overall rate for all vehicle types has increased only 7%, improving from 80.7% to 86.6%.

The survey provides a breakdown of seat belt usage in five vehicle categories: cars, vans, SUVs, passenger trucks and commercial vehicles. The survey evaluates seat belt usage rates compared to speed, showing that seat belt usage was at its highest when drivers traveled in higher speed limit areas. Concerningly, seat belt use declined when motorists traveled at lower speeds.

In 2021, passenger trucks surpassed SUVs with an overall seat belt usage rate of 88.1% versus SUVs with an 85.9% usage rate. Previous surveys observed that passenger trucks and commercial vehicles lagged behind the three other vehicle categories (cars, vans and SUVs). Commercial vehicles continue to have the lowest seat belt usage rate at 76.2%.

The study also showed that seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% for front-seat passenger occupants. For passenger truck occupants, that risk is reduced by 60%.

Pickup Truck