Drive Smart Colorado hopes new Seat Belt Convincer gets people to buckle up

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Drive Smart Colorado's newest Seat Belt Convincer / Mike Byrum -- FOX21 News

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It’s a simple click that could save your life.

“This is just a 7-mile an hour car crash, but you get quite a jolt at the end,” said Maile Gray, executive director of Drive Smart Colorado.

It’s made to simulate a crash when you’re driving slow, like in a parking lot or rush hour traffic.

According to the Colorado Department Of Transportation, 15 percent of people in the state do not wear their seat belt.

“Imagine if this was a 17-mile an hour car crash, or a 37-mile an hour car crash, or a 77-mile an hour car crash. If you are not wearing your seat belt, you are not staying in your car,” Gray said.

CDOT says in the last year, Colorado saw 364 fatal car accidents; more than half were not wearing seat belts.

CDOT adds an unbuckled passenger in the back seat increases the risk of fatality for the driver by 137 percent.

“The centrifugal force pushes them out partially out a window and a car rolls over on top of them and there’s just nothing you can do,” said Captain John Lupton, trooper commander for Colorado State Patrol.

It’s Drive Smart Colorado’s newest Seat Belt Convincer, thanks to a $25,000 grant from State Farm.

The rough ending of the 7-mile per hour ride shows you the potential damage a crash can do when you’re not even speeding.

“It’s that constant reminder of you might not do anything wrong, but you can’t account for what everyone else around you does wrong. And that’s what the seat belt is designed to do, is that what if somebody else does something you weren’t expecting and you’re in a situation you didn’t wanna be in,” Lupton said.

The Seat Belt Convincer will be taken to high schools and other events for the public to try out.

You can catch it next at Chapel Hills Mall on August 6.

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