Colorado’s Overall Seat Belt Usage is the Highest on Record



On the heels of a record year for traffic deaths, there is some good news. Coloradans are buckling up more than ever before. The recent State of Colorado Statewide Seat Belt Survey shows that the statewide usage rate is 88.6%, a 1.6% increase from 2022. This is the highest usage rate on record, according to CDOT.

Completed annually, the study provides a detailed summary of seat belt use in five vehicle categories – cars, vans, SUVs, passenger trucks and commercial vehicles. Almost 100,000 vehicles were observed in 26 counties in the state. Of the counties studied, 13 reported seat belt usage rates above 90%. In 2020, only six counties reported usage rates that high.

The five counties reporting the highest usage rates were Arapahoe County (98.16%), Garfield County (97.38%), Douglas County (96.82), Grand County (96.73%) and Park County (95.82%).

Three large counties in the state ranked at the bottom of the list, all below 80%. Jefferson County ranked the lowest, with a seat belt usage rate of just 73.5%. This is a 7% decrease from 2022. Pueblo County also ranked below 80%, at 74.46% (a 7% increase from the previous year). Finally, El Paso County was the third lowest in the state at 79.35%, a decrease from 86.7% last year.

In the past, pickup trucks have typically ranked lower than other vehicle categories in seat belt use; however, this year pickups had the most significant rate increase to 82.9%. This is a 4.4% increase from last year and a 14.5% increase from 2014. SUVs ranked the highest among the five vehicle categories (91.4%), and commercial vehicles ranked the lowest (71.9%).

The report also revealed that passengers tend to buckle up less frequently than drivers. Also usage rates were lower on secondary roads but higher on highways.

Last year (2022) 763 people were killed on Colorado roads. The most in the state’s history. Of those killed, 236 were not buckled.

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