(PUEBLO, Colo.) — On Wednesday, Sept. 13 the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) was in Pueblo to showcase the importance of seatbelts.

According to CDOT a 2023 Colorado Statewide Seat-Belt Study found only 74% of vehicle occupants in Pueblo County were buckled up, an increase from 2022 of 67% however, still well below the 88.6% statewide average. In El Paso County usage was notably low with just 79% of people buckling up. Jefferson County is the only other county to have seatbelt usage below 80%.

CDOT’s 2024 seat belt safety media campaign will feature a rollover simulator that shows the severity of a violent crash said CDOT. The simulator repeatedly rotates a vehicle cabin with a test dummy inside

“The encouraging news is that more Coloradans are buckling up, including drivers and passengers in Pueblo,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “Keeping that positive momentum can make a huge difference in reducing fatal crashes as seat belts remain the most important safety feature for vehicle occupants.”

Statewide, last year 236 people killed in crashes were not buckled. CDOT said the study also found that seat belt use was lowest on local roads, 85% statewide, likely as a result of lower speed limits than on primary roads such as highways and interstates.