As a state, Colorado’s seat belt use rate sits at 86%, below the national average of 90%. In 2019, 196 unbuckled drivers and passengers were killed in crashes in Colorado, accounting for more than half of the state’s 377 total passenger vehicle deaths.
Each year, hundreds of unbuckled injuries and fatalities occur on Colorado roads. With an average 120,000 crashes each year, that means there’s a 1 in 33 chance that you will be in a car crash. Despite our best intentions, we are all at risk when on the road, and regular seat belt use is the single most effective way to prevent severe injury or death in a crash – reducing the chance of harm by 50%. Yet, 14% of Coloradans still report not wearing a seat belt.
In 2020, CIG worked with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to develop a campaign to help improve Colorado’s seat belt use rate and ultimately reduce statewide unbuckled crashes and fatalities. Using the concept of traffic safety citizenship, our goal was to leverage the strong, positive road safety culture that already exists to impact the small minority of risky road users most resistant to change.