A handful of Colorado high schools are competing against each other in an effort to see who can have the biggest impact on boosting seat belt usage. The inter-school showdown is part of the Teen Seat Belt Challenge, an eight-week student led campaign designed to educate drivers about the importance of buckling up.
According to the project’s coordinator Anne Robinson, “This is a teen-driven seat belt challenge, so the students are able to come up with their own creative ideas to convince their classmates to wear seat belts every time they are in a vehicle.” When the project ends on May 4th, prizes will be awarded to the schools showing the largest increase in seat belt usage since the beginning of the campaign. Additional awards will be handed out for the school that designed the best overall campaign as well as the school boasting the greatest student participation.
Encouragingly, the numbers collected at the beginning of the campaign showed that approximately 88 percent of students were already using their seat belts. However, with the consequences of driving unbuckled as high as they are, that still means one in ten students are putting themselves in serious danger.
This type of program is definitely sending a positive message to the community, since it’s harnessing the power of peer pressure and putting it to good use. Over 50 percent of all drivers killed in traffic accidents are not buckled in at the time of the crash, yet the CDC estimates that 1 in 7 U.S. drivers still fail to use a seat belt. The fact that seatbelts save over 4,000 lives a year seems like argument enough, but it’s nice to see a campaign like this reminding people of something that should already be a no brainer.
Although the Colorado high schools participating in the challenge are already outpacing the national average when it comes to seat belt usage, the hope is that by the end of the campaign every student at those schools will be wearing their seat belt when they come rolling into the parking lot on May 4th.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/piratejohnny/2507761266/