"I want to be a statistic when I grow up..."
That's probably something no child has ever said, but all too often that's exactly what they become.
"Mississippi is number two right now in the nation in teen fatalities," said Robin Layton of the Office of Highway Safety. "We're working really hard with the counties trying to improve the awareness for the teens and the parents as well for public safety and actually wearing that seat belt because it's the single best defense in a car crash."
That's why Layton brought Rock the Belt to Clarkdale High School.
Rock the Belt is an interactive, hands-on presentation that promotes the use of seat belts among young drivers.
It includes videos, and a competition called the "Quick Click Challenge", where teams made up of four students race to see who can buckle up the fastest. Even the school's administration and teachers got involved.
"I hope students saw how bad driving without a seat belt can be and how fatal it can be to their lives, and how it really can make a difference if they just put their seat belt on," said Clarkdale SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) member Stephanie Grayson. "It only takes a few seconds."
"Seat belts are vital to living. It saves lives," said Clarkdale SADD member Lashley Davis. "If they can learn to wear their seat belts, then maybe it will prevent them from having a crash and dying."
About 40,000 of Mississippi's drivers are high school students. Last year eighty-three were killed in traffic accidents, and sixty of those were not wearing seat belts.
Officials say lives could have been saved with those seat belts, and that's why there is special emphasis on the use of seat belts when driving or riding in a vehicle.