HOUSTON (KIAH) — A teen who went viral for being caught on video driving through a tornado is at the center of the Texas Department of Transportation’s “Click It or Ticket” seatbelt awareness and enforcement campaign.

The video of Riley Leon driving through a tornado has been viewed millions of times worldwide. He says he joined TXDOT‘s campaign to encourage Texas drivers and passengers to buckle up.

“A couple of days later, I realized and was thankful to God I wore my seatbelt that day cause if not, that accident could’ve been more tragic, and I probably wouldn’t be here today,” said Leon.

In 2021, there were 3,507 Texas crashes in which unbuckled people sustained fatal or severe injuries, a 14% increase from the previous year. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying in a crash by 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars. Seat belts reduce that risk by 60% for those in pickup trucks.

Since its launch in the Lone Star State in 2002, the “Click It or Ticket” initiative is estimated to have saved 6,972 lives, prevented 120,000 serious injuries, and saved $26.3 billion in related economic costs.