CDOT and Lyft Guard Lives in Beware of the Beltless Campaign

Of the 399 people killed in Colorado passenger vehicle crashes in 2017, more than 50 percent were not wearing seat belts. To raise awareness about the dangers posed by unbuckled occupants – both to themselves and others in the vehicle - the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) partnered with Lyft to spoof customers as part of CDOT’s Beware of the Beltless campaign.

“An unbuckled passenger can increase your chance of being seriously injured or killed in a car crash by 40 percent – even if you are buckled up,” said Sam Cole, Safety Communications Manager at CDOT. “Our hope is that this campaign will create a sense of urgency around Colorado’s seat belt crisis and encourage drivers to stop seeing an unbuckled person as a friend but instead as a dangerous object capable of serious harm to others during a crash.”

Statewide, seat belt use was 84 percent in 2017, which is six percent lower than the national average of 90 percent. It is estimated that 210 lives in Colorado were saved by seat belts in 2016, but there was potential for 58 more lives to have been saved if there was 100 percent seat belt usage. Colorado is one of only 16 states without a primary seat belt law. When primary seat belt laws are passed, seat belt use rates increase between five to ten percent.