The 100 deadliest days on the road are from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Officials call it the most dangerous time for teen drivers.
There are 100,000 car accidents per year involving texting while driving. Sometimes those crashes lead to irreversible consequences. That was the case for one mother from Arkansas. May 21 marking the four year anniversary of her daughter's death.
Mariah West was one day shy of her high school graduation.
"She got a phone call from a young man she was interested in," explained her mother Merry Dye.
The 18 year old headed to Missouri to go visit him.
"She's like, 'Mom, I just need to blow off some steam, family's coming in tomorrow. I'll be home before you even get off work,'" Dye said.
But Mariah never made it home.
"The text said, 'Where you at,'" she described.
Mariah tried to answer, "and had drafted a one letter response before she lost control," her mother said.
Her daughter was in a coma for eight days before dying.
"If she had really looked and that question and thought, 'Oh, wait. I'm in a car. I don't need to be looking at this,' we wouldn't be here today," her mother said.
"Driving is not for texting," said AT&T spokeswoman Mollie West.
It's that time of year when more teens could find themselves in situations just like Mariah's.
"School is out," West said. "Typically that's when teens who don't know how to drive are learning to drive and getting their drivers licenses so you have a lot of teens on the road."
Put a cell phone in their hand and that could be a deadly combination.
"When you're texting, your attention is diverted away from the road," West said.
Studies show that when people text and drive, it takes their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds, so if someone is going 55 miles per hour, that's driving the length of a football field completely blind.
'It's not a matter of if you're going to have an accident but when," Mariah's mother said.
And all it could take is one letter.
"What a waste," she said.
Because no text is worth a life
Since her daughter's death, Dye has become a driving instructor. She shares her story with her students in hopes they never text while driving.
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