Colorado increased seat belt usage this year
Colorado drivers are getting better about using their seat belts, but they’re still trailing behind drivers in the rest of the county.
According to a new survey published by the Colorado Department of Transportation earlier this month, seat belt usage in Colorado increased by 2.5 percent in 2018 after three years of decline. Seat belt usage increased from 83.8 percent in 2017 to 86.3 percent in 2018, though Colorado is still lagging behind the national seat belt average of 90 percent.
“Although some counties improved, overall, the state is below the national average,” said Darrell Lingk, director of CDOT’s Office of Transportation Safety. “Colorado unfortunately lacks a primary seat belt law, so people are only cited for not wearing a seat belt when they are pulled over for another traffic violation. This results in less people buckling up.”
While data for the entire country is yet to be collected for 2018, Colorado ranked 40th in the country in seat belt usage last year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Last year there were 222 unbuckled fatalities on Colorado roads, accounting for more than half of the 410 total passenger vehicle deaths in the state.
Rural communities appear to be the biggest offenders of driving unbuckled. Five of the six counties with the lowest use rates were rural: Cheyenne (65 percent), Delta (75), La Plata (76), Montezuma and Chaffee (77). Summit County came in with a usage rate of 86.8 percent, just above the state average.
“Each year this survey gives insight on where we need to focus our efforts to increase Colorado’s seat belt use,” said Colorado State Patrol Chief Matthew Packard. “As in past years, rural couties use seat belts less than other areas in the state. We need to improve in these regions, and all regions, to increase Colorado’s seat belt use and lower passenger vehicle fatalities.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
DILLON — The April 12, 1970, headline in the Cedar Rapids Gazette might have seemed bold at the time. But a half-century later, as Keystone Resort has become one of the most popular ski destinations…