A simple three-second click saved Chance Moore

17-year-old Chance Moore was saved by his seat belt and says buckle up.

Statistics released by the Missouri Highway Patrol show that in 2010, a person was killed or injured in a crash involving a young driver every 35 minutes.

Chance Moore, age 17 of rural Palmyra, knows all too well the dangers associated with car crashes, seat belts and how they can either save your life or prevent serious injury.

"I don't think you can really, truly understand how important it is until you're in an accident, and hopefully you're wearing your seat belt when you have it happen," Moore said.

Moore said he drives from his house into Palmyra along Missouri highway 168 everyday.

Last Thanksgiving morning, it was a normal day as he headed into town to pick up his brother. Within a few seconds, a tire on Moore's dropped off the side of the highway. He over-corrected, shot back across the highway and overturned his SUV into a farm field.

"I was really just hanging upside down and it was really sort of dark, so I really didn't quite know where I was for a moment. But I took off my seat belt, I fell down, and of course, all that stuff in the car was laying on the roof now. So I had to climb over that and open up the door and just sort of figured out what happened," Moore said.

Because he was wearing his seat belt, Moore escaped the accident with very minor injuries. But when he was at the hospital, staff at the facility told him something that he will never forget.

"At the hospital they said, you know, this could have been a lot worse. I just had a little bit of a headache that night, but they said, yeah, you could be paralyzed from this," Moore said.

That is something Moore said he keeps in the back of his mind, knowing that a simple click of the seat belt saved him. Now he wants anyone who will listen to know just how important it is to wear your seat belt.

"I think you really need to live through one to figure out how important seat belts really are," Moore said.

Missouri Highway Patrol records for 2010 involving all traffic crashes across the state show 26 percent of those crashes involved a young driver.