More Coloradans will have buckled up when they hit the road for the Labor Day holiday weekend. According to a recent survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), seat belt use increased by 2% in 2019. This is the highest rate since record-keeping began in 1997 when the state logged a 60% buckling up rate. CDOT’s 2019 State of Colorado Statewide Seat Belt Survey shows seat belt usage improved to 88.3% in 2019 from 86.3% in 2018. The national rate is 90%. In 2018, there were 220 unbuckled passenger vehicle deaths on Colorado roads — accounting for about half of the 416 total passenger vehicle deaths in the state.
“We are pleased to see a record share of Coloradans buckling — with a meaningful increase of 2 percent in the past year,” said Shoshana Lew, executive director of CDOT. “Buckling your seatbelt can be a lifesaving decision, and we encourage both drivers and passengers to stay focused on safety so we can continue to improve over the year to come.”
The survey identifies use rates for select Colorado counties. The three highest population counties around Denver (Arapahoe, Denver, Douglas) all registered just above 90%. El Paso County also had a 90% use rate. At a population of just over 48,000, Fremont County demonstrated the highest rate of seat belt use across the stateat 95.2%. Lower seat belt usage is most often reported in the state’s rural counties, with Moffat coming in lowest at 71.4%, then Cheyenne (74.4%), Delta (80.7%), Otero (82.1%) and Gunnison and Montrose (82.9%). Adams County saw the largest gain in seat belt use, rising 19.3% to 89.2%.
The 2019 seat belt study, along with previous years, can be found at: codot.gov/safety/seatbelts/surveys
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