Culture and Trends ›

Parents' Plea to Teen Drivers

Shutterstock / Annette Shaff

"Don't text and drive."

In June 2014, Diane and James Freybler received the news all parents dread. Their son, Jacob Daniel Freybler, had been killed.

Jacob was driving home when his car crossed the center line of a two-way avenue and he collided head-on with another car. Investigators concluded that Freybler was texting at the time of the crash.

In Grand Rapids, Michigan, as friends, classmates, and coworkers mourned Jacob's death, his parents opened their doors to the news media, determined to help protect other families from a similar tragedy.

Less than 12 hours after learning his son had died, James Freybler told WOOD TV 8, “That phone call can wait. It can wait. That text message can wait. ... You don’t want to go through what I’m going through right now.”

Jacob's mother, Diane, had an even more direct message for Michigan Live: "Don't text and drive."

Texting while driving is illegal in Michigan and 43 other states. To learn more about the dangers of texting and other forms of distracted driving, visit