During high school, many students are gaining the responsibility and privilege to drive themselves to school, but in the busy rush of getting ready to go to class MoDOT wants them to buckle up and not drive while being distracted.
"One of the things that's the most important to us is driver safety and wearing a seatbelt is the first line of protection," Northwest District Area Engineer Adam Watson said. "The odds of surviving a crash climb drastically the ability to survive the crash hinges on wearing the seatbelt.
MoDOT representatives reminded parents and students at Benton High School about vehicle safety Friday morning.
Missouri has no primary safety belt law and is one of only three states with a no 'all-driver texting ban.' something that state law maker Galen Higdon is trying to change.
"It's becoming one of the top reasons of death for teens in the state of Missouri," Higdon said.
During the last four years over 4,600 crashes involved a teenager 19 or younger -- 29 of those crashes ended in death. Out of the 4,600 crashes, over 44 percent of them we caused by distracted driving.
"Accidents do happen but the odds of surviving are so much great with your seatbelt on," Watson said. "I can't even understand why you wouldn't wear a seatbelt."
To encourage and remind students to make a good decision, MoDOT handed out candy, smarties, so that they'd be smart and remember to buckle and not text while driving.
MoDOT says out of the 555 people in cars they monitored at Benton Friday morning, 430 of them were wearing their seat belts.