Colorado DOT Turns to Snapchat to Share Seat-Belt Message with Teens

Before this week, 300 Colorado high schools got posters with a Snapchat code and prompt to add the CDOT account.

by Chhun Sun, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) / September 22, 2016

(TNS) -- To encourage teenagers to "buckle up every ride, every time," the Colorado Department of Transportation announced this week a seat-belt safety campaign to a group that has been hard hit by fatal motor vehicle crashes.

Teens can add CDOT's Snapchat account -- clickfor_co -- and view seat-belt safety messages that use emojis and Snapchat art. CDOT said Wednesday that the social media platform allows the department to reach out to teens "at the time of the day when they are most likely to drive - en route to school, at lunch, after class - with messages to buckle up before they get behind the wheel."

The campaign runs through Friday.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatal motor vehicle crashes is the No. 1 killer of teens.

The chance of fatal injury can be cut by 45 percent by wearing a seat belt, CDOT says, while unbuckled drivers and passengers are 30 times more likely to be thrown from a vehicle.

Sixteen Colorado teens died last year in crashes after not wearing a seat belt, CDOT reports. Weld County had the most teen traffic deaths in the state at five, followed by three each in Arapahoe and Larimer counties and two each in Denver and El Paso and Pueblo counties, CDOT reported.

Before this week, 300 Colorado high schools got posters with a Snapchat code and prompt to add the CDOT account.

"Reaching teens with seat-belt messages isn't always easy," CDOT spokesman Sam Cole said in a statement. "Our goal is to reach teens where they are most often, and right now, that's on social media. We want to communicate in a way that feels relatable to them."

©2016 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.) Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.