Teen Seatbelt Challenge
The primary goal of the Mile-High Regional Emergency Medical and Trauma Advisory Council (“Mile-High RETAC”) is saving lives. This group of highly skilled professionals ensures quality systems of emergency, medical, and trauma care for patients within Adams County, Arapahoe County, the City and County of Broomfield, the City and County of Denver, Douglas County, and Elbert County.
Growing concerns in those counties and across the state of Colorado culminated in 2004, when car crashes killed ninety-six teenagers (16 – 20 years of age). More alarming, two thirds of them were not using seat belts, of which seventy-one percent (45/63) were ejected from the vehicle.
In response, the Mile-High RETAC formed a steering committee with a representative from the level one trauma center at Children’s, Denver Health, St. Anthony's, and Swedish hospitals. The steering committee initiated the Teen Seat Belt Challenge (“TSBC”), a program designed to improve seat belt compliance among teenagers. Because seat belts prevent ejection from vehicles and reduce head and spinal cord injuries by spreading the forces of a crash over a wider area of the body.
Today, the Mile-High RETAC holds its four-week competition among high schools each spring and autumn; newly participating high schools participate in the former. Additionally, car crashes resulting in teenage fatalities continues to be an issue, although, fatalities are declining in the Mile-High RETAC counties and across the state of Colorado.
The Mile-High Teen Seat Belt Challenge
Do seat belts save lives? Emphatically YES! You Betcha! Seat belts prevent ejection from vehicles and reduce head and spinal cord injuries by spreading the forces of a crash over a wider area of the body.
Did you know young people ages 16-20 years old are most likely to be involved in car crashes because they have the highest crash rate per mile driven? And sadly, many of those teens are injured or killed. Statistics show passengers have a higher likelihood of surviving crashes when restrained by seat belts. For that reason, we developed THE MILE-HIGH TEEN SEAT BELT CHALLENGE: a friendly competition that encourages teens at local high schools to increase seat belt usage.
This is a great way for teens to contribute to something positive within their schools and communities.