Little Rock, Ark. (KTHV) -- Texting and driving is against the law here in Arkansas, but that's not the only reason you should ignore the buzzing noise coming from your phone.
As part of Today THV's "Great Hang Up" Campaign, it's important to remember the faces behind why these laws are in place. One Arkansas mom found this out the hard way.
Three years ago, Tuesday, Mariah West sent a text message that would be end up being her last. Now, her mother wants other drivers, especially teens, to understand how important it is to remember "It Can Wait."
"Where u at." Three little words now have a whole new meaning for Merry Dye.
"My daughter was, the day before her high school graduation, heading to visit a friend who was a minor league ballplayer and watch his game. And she was getting instructions on where to go," says Dye.
Dye's daughter, Mariah West was texting and driving. What happened next, Dye will never forget.
"She lost control of her car, crossed the center median and crashed into a bridge and then flipped the car. And in the course of that was partially ejected. She suffered massive head trauma and died eight days later...three years ago today," Dye explains.
Dye has since stepped up as an advocate to stop people, particularly teens, from texting and driving.
"It's a new technology. It's very pervasive in our society. And it has been very seductive, especially to our youth," she says.
AT&T contacted her shortly after her daughter's funeral to be part of its "It Can Wait" documentary. The company is showing off technology designed to make teens understand the real danger. It's a simulator that shows how hard it really is to drive safely while texting.
"It's been great. Everybody is very positive about the message. So that's helpful and it helps get the message spread," she adds.
According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, a person texting while driving is 23 times more likely to be in accident. That's compared to a 7% higher chance of being in an accident if you're legally drunk and driving.
"It's just something we have to educate them. They already understand that drinking and driving is unacceptable. It's not safe. Now we have to reeducate them about the dangers of texting and driving," says Dye.
As for Dye, she hopes the memory of her daughter lives on in the lives saved through education.
"It's actually somewhat cathartic in the aspect that it takes a senseless loss and gives it at least a reason to help other people not go through the same thing," she says.
The texting and driving simulator is part of at 30-state tour. It takes place this time of year known as the "100 Deadliest Days" for teens to be on the road, that's the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day.