Beware of the Beltless Campaign Launches with 9-Foot Grenade

You may think of yourself as harmless—but if you're unbuckled and in a crash, you increase the risk of serious injury or death to the people you're riding with by 40 percent.

That's the message behind CDOT's Beware of the Beltless 2017 seat belt safety campaign, which launched earlier this month to change the way people see unbuckled passengers. In a crash, unbuckled passengers become dangerous and deadly projectiles; an unbuckled person in a car might as well be a propane tank or a grenade, or a deadly rocket. By tying the hazards of being unbelted to these more obvious dangers, CDOT hopes to make people think twice about the importance of buckling up—something they may take for granted.

As part of the campaign, on March 15, CDOT held a press conference and unveiled a 9-foot-tall traveling grenade exhibit that will be displayed in public areas across metro Denver over the next few months as a visible reminder and symbol of the dangers unbuckled passengers pose in a crash. Written in spray paint across the grenade's surface is: "An unbuckled passenger can be just as deadly."

Seat belt usage in Colorado fell from 85 percent to 84 percent in 2016, while the nation average stands at 90 percent. In January, CDOT released data that showed 16 percent of people in Colorado do not wear their seat belts—and that 16 percent accounts for nearly half of all passenger-vehicle fatalities. Through the Beware of the Beltless campaign, CDOT hopes to increase seat belt use among Coloradans beyond the current 84 percent.

Seat belts are proven to be one of the best defenses in a crash, reducing your chances of being ejected from your vehicle and ultimately reducing your risk of death. CDOT's goal with Beware of the Beltless and all its traffic safety campaigns is to Move Toward Zero Deaths on Colorado roadways.

Since its launch, the grenade has garnered over 13 million earned media impressions at an estimated value of over $77,000.

Download Beware of the Beltless campaign materials.