A local teenager lost his life while driving distracted.
CORPUS CHRISTI -
"TALK, TEXT, CRASH" -- That's the theme of the latest campaign put together by the Texas Department of Transportation. One mother, Arely Mathews, who we spoke to says, distracted driving is a subject parents should discuss with their teenage drivers all the time.
"Parents have to educate their children even from an early age, just how we educated them on drinking and driving and wear your seat belt all the time, it's that dangerous," she said.
Mathews says, since losing her son more than three years ago, she can't stress enough that whatever you prioritize behind the wheel, it can wait.
"A.J's story proves that, he was a typical teenager, 18-years old, had a twitter account and instagram and all these social media and he was updating it and he didn't realize that the truck in front of him was stopped."
Mathews says, her son A.J. Benavides died at the scene.
"You're son was in an accident today and he died, it was, I think I dropped the phone I don't know, my husband got it, it just seemed like it was not happening."
Doctors handed her a bag of A.J's belongings at the hospital. Mathews says, if nothing else, don't get in a car and plan to drive distracted.
"If we can help one person, or one person can get that education about, you know what, was A.J's tweet, that he was back in town on his way to work, was it worth it? Now, we never get to see him again. So just putting the phone down and realizing that you know what it can happen to you, it can happen to anyone that's distracted while driving."
Tx-DOT officials say, statewide, accidents involving distracted drivers are on the increase, can end fatally and can be prevented. Come September 1st, it will be illegal across the state of Texas to text and drive.
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