seat belts back seat

Passengers in rear seats have a 300% greater risk of being killed in a crash if they are not buckled up.

The Colorado Department of Transportation has partnered with Denver Yellow Cab to encourage people to wear seat belts when in rear seats. The company provides more than 1.5 million passenger trips annually.

CDOT’s new campaign features “Buckle Up Colorado” decal stickers, which will appear on 400 of Denver Yellow Cab’s taxis.

Buckle Up Colorado

Passengers in rear seats have a 300% greater risk of being killed in a vehicle accident if they are not buckled up. In addition, the drivers of vehicles in which rear seat passengers are not wearing seat belts are themselves 137% more likely to be killed in a crash.

Getting Safety Message Out

The Denver Post reports that Denver Yellow Cab — the only local cab company that has broadcast video in its vehicles — will show passengers a brief video that urges people to buckle up. Twenty of Denver Yellow Cab’s taxis will feature toppers to get the message out to cab drivers and passengers, as well as the general public.

CDOT Communications Manager Sam Cole said:

Denver Yellow Cab is a valuable partner in this campaign, and their unique tactics will reach Coloradans both in and outside the cabs. In 2013, rear seat belt usage in Colorado was 52 percent in fatality crashes.

Grim Statistics

Data from the Governor’s Highway Safety Association data shows that in 2013, seat belt use by back seat passengers was 78%, 9% lower than seat belt use by front seat occupants. In 2012 and 2013, there were 186 fatal crashes in Colorado that involved rear seat passengers age 8 and older, 48% involving an unbuckled back seat passenger.

If there is a crash, a passenger or driver who is not wearing a seat belt can become a projectile and cause serious injury or death to others in the vehicle. From 2001 to 2009, a driver wearing a seat belt had more than twice the risk of being fatally injured in a frontal crash if someone in the back seat was not buckled up.

Secondary Enforcement in Colorado

Colorado’s seat belt law is a secondary law, which means officers can not pull a driver over just for a seat belt violation, but can only issue a seat belt ticket if the driver is stopped for another violation. Colorado law does not require back seat passengers over the age of 18 to wear seat belts.

This year CDOT launched a campaign — “Beware of the Beltless” — to raise awareness of the state’s seat belt crisis. The 15% of Coloradans who do not wear seat belts make up more than half of the state’s 2015 passenger traffic deaths.

Arizona Campaign

In a related news item, writes that Jared Veldheer, the Arizona Cardinals’ left tackle and captain, has partnered with the Arizona Department of Transportation to encourage people to wear seat belts in that state’s “Seat belts. For life.” campaign.

Veldheer said:

I wouldn’t play football without wearing a helmet and shoulder pads, and I won’t drive my truck without wearing a seat belt. Being safe is being smart.

Image by Rostislav Sedláček/123RF.

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