Fort Worth Mother's Heartbreaking Plea as Distracted Driving Deaths Rise

How many times do you look at your phone when you're on the road? Even once could mean the difference between life and death.

According to new data from TxDOT, several North Texas counties are seeing an increase in people dying from distracted driving crashes.

A Fort Worth mom wants you to think twice behind the wheel.

When Kathy Bond first talks about Katrina, she smiles.

"We went to Graceland the summer before I lost her. That was on her bucket list of things to do,” Bond said.

Her feisty nature and sense of humor are captured in photos and etched in memories, but emotions quickly turn to pain as she thinks of her 22-year-old daughter's life being cut short at the hands of a distracted driver.

"Just to think that somebody was reading a couple of words, just because he wanted to look at a couple of words, that he could kill my daughter,” she said.

Seven years ago, this September, on I-35W near Belton, a 23-year-old said he glanced at a text in a construction zone and hit Katrina's car.

It’s a heartbreak, she wants other drivers to know about, but never feel.

"I guess I just want them to think about how horrible my seven Christmases have been and when March comes around and we're not celebrating births, we're not celebrating my daughter.

New numbers from Tx-DOT show a spike in distracted driving deaths in Tarrant, Dallas and Collin Counties last year over 2016. In Collin County especially, where the deadly crashes nearly tripled and the number of people killed went up 75-percent.

While the data shows improvement statewide, AAA fears the cases are under reported.

“It's so important for people to understand that when you pick up the phone behind the wheel, your not only putting your life in danger, your putting everyone else around you as well,” said AAA Spokesperson, Daniel Armbruster.

This past April, AAA launched a new campaign - “Don't drive intoxicated. Don't drive intexticated.

Bond wishes more people took that message to heart.

"Sometimes that's what they need to do is see somebody with their heart sitting in their lap saying please don't do that,” she said.

Over the last several years, she's been working to toughen the laws and talk to kids in school about safe driving. Bond tells them to speak up to their parents when they text in the car. And to parents, she says "set a good example."

A closer look at TxDOT's distracted driving findings: 

Dallas County
DD Fatal crashes up 20-percent
18 in 2017
15 in 2016
DD Fatalities up 25-percent
20 in 2017
16 in 2016
Tarrant County
DD Fatal crashes down 4.3-percent
22 in 2017
23 in 2016
DD Fatalities up 4.3-percent
24 in 2017
23 in 2016
Collin County
Fatal DD crashes up 140-percent
12 in 2017
5 in 2016
DD Fatalities up 75-percent
14 in 2017
8 in 2016
Denton County
Fatal DD crashes same percent
7 in 2017
7 in 2016
DD Fatalities down 20-percent
8 in 2017
10 in 2016
Fatal DD crashes down 3-percent
403 in 2017
417 in 2016
DD Fatalities down 2.4-percent
449 in 2017
460 in 2016

Contact Us