Seat belts save lives, regardless of what your state’s laws say about wearing them. Numerous studies from nationally recognized safety organizations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, have demonstrated the importance of seat belts in car accidents. In 2017, for example, nearly half of those killed in car accidents (47%) were not wearing seat belts. If everyone had buckled up, seat belts could have saved an additional 2,549 lives in 2017. Wearing your seat belt may also keep you out of legal trouble in Colorado, as the state has a few seat belt laws in place.

Does Colorado require seat belts for drivers or passengers?

Although Colorado does not have a universal seat belt law requiring all vehicle occupants to buckle up, it does require all drivers and front-seat passengers to wear seat belts. Colorado’s universal seat belt law requires drivers and front seat passengers to wear a seat belt at all times. Colorado lawmakers chose this type of seat belt law based on evidence that the risk of fatal injury is greater for front-seat passengers than those in the back seat. Although back seat adult passengers are not required to wear a seat belt, their chance of injury increases without its use.

Colorado car seat requirements for child occupants

Colorado’s seat belt law requires all minors to wear seat belts. It does not matter if they are drivers or passengers, or where they sit in the car. Anyone under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt at all times in a motor vehicle, or risk the parent or guardian getting a citation.

Colorado seat belt law penalties for non-compliance

Colorado has a secondary seat belt law, meaning police officers cannot use the failure to wear a seat belt as the sole reason for pulling a driver over. Police officers may not stop a car due to lack of seat belt. The officer must perform a traffic stop for another reason. Only then may an officer issue a citation for failing to comply with the state’s seat belt laws. The officer may ticket the driver and any passengers who should be wearing seat belts under the state law. In Colorado, failing to wear a seat belt is a Class B traffic infraction punishable by a $65 fine per offense.

Failing to wear a seat belt could result in civil law consequences. If you get into a car accident and suffer serious personal injuries, lack of seat-belt wearing according to the Colorado seat belt law could give the at-fault driver a reason to refute liability for your injuries. The defendant could owe you less compensation after proving your injuries reasonably would have been less severe had you been following Colorado’s seat belt law, for example. Our Denver car accident attorneys can only do so much to help you restore your life after auto collision injuries.

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