Seat-belt use in Colorado rose by 2.5% this year, moving from 84% in 2017 to 86% in 2018, according to a new survey by the Colorado Department of Transportation, reports the Pagosa Daily Post.
The recent increase reflects the first improvement for Colorado since 2015, but the state still lags behind the national average of 90%.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that Colorado ranked 40th in the nation for seat belt utilization in 2017, reports the Daily Post.
The survey covers seat belt use rates in 31 counties. Douglas County ranked first with 95% of residents buckling up, while Cheyenne ranked lowest with a use rate of only 65%, reports Patch.com.
Experts note that seat belt use reduces the risk of injury and death in a collision by 50%. In 2017, some 222 people who failed to buckle up lost their lives on Colorado roads, accounting for approximately 50% of the 410 total passenger vehicle fatalities in the state.
The 2018 State of Colorado Seat Belt Survey was conducted during a two-week period in June. Over 132,000 vehicles and more than 162,000 drivers and passengers were observed.