According to the Department of Transportation, last year 65 percent of traffic fatalities in North Dakota were those not wearing seatbelts.
Three Horizon middle school students don't drive yet, but are making their case to always buckle up.
"I grew up always wearing a seatbelt because they always did." says Mikayla Moszer, 8th grade student.
If Mikayla's mom had not been wearing a seatbelt, Mikayla might not be here today.
"When my mom was pregnant with me she got in a crash and if she wasn't wearing her seatbelt, something might have happened." says Mikayla Moszer.
A scary story that drives home an important lesson.
"I wanted her to share it actually because it could have been so much different, if I wasn't wearing a seatbelt, I told her my choices of, my seatbelt is so much of a routine, I put my seatbelt on to back out and wash a car, I will not drive without one, and I won't let my kids, I won't go anywhere until the kids are buckled up." says Ronda Moszer, Mikayla's mom.
Although they aren't licensed drivers yet, these three Horizon middle school students share what they wrote to win a state Seatbelt Essay contest.
Some stories are factual, others are personal, but they all carry a similar message.
"If you get in a crash, that seatbelt could save your life, so I would say something, even when I would start driving, I wouldn't start the car until everyone put their seatbelt on, that's always been a rule at my house, you don't start the car until seatbelts are on." says Katie Leary, 8th grade student.
A scenario a lot of young drivers will soon be faced with, as they test for a driver's permit.
At least in Mikayla's case, she has already had a great example of how a seatbelt can change everything.
"I'm hoping that through her life experiences, and seeing us buckle up everyday, that she will have that instilled in her, if I ever catch her without a seatbelt, she will lose her car (laughs) let's put it that way." says Ronda Moszer.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation selected 20 winning essays out of hundreds across the state.
Students will also be recognized at schools in Carrington, Grafton, Lisbon and Larimore.