Maria's Message: Movement To End Distracted Driving Inspires Teen


Benjamin Kanas is a senior at Bexley High School, and like most teens, never thought that a distracted driving accident could happen to him.

“The reason teens often make the choice of texting and driving is because they are in the moment and they forget how dangerous it is,” Kanas said.

But that all changed the day Dom Tiberi spoke to the students about how he lost his daughter in an accident in September 2013.

“I truly empathized with him and I really saw how much he was hurting,” Kanas said.

As he witnessed Tiberi’s pain, the consequences of distracted driving became very real to him.

“I just couldn't let his stories go,” Kanas said.

Thus, he decided to write Dom Tiberi a letter thanking him for keeping Maria’s memory and ideas alive.

“Often times it is easy to feel invincible and think nothing could ever happen, especially as a teenager. Maria's Message is so vitally important that I cannot stand by while my peers all across the country are not coming home. It is also so easy to forget what life truly is and means,” Kanas said.

This is the exact message Maria would want teenagers to know before getting behind the wheel of a car.

“That is what I really connected to; that even though she is not here anymore she can inspire others to do good,” Kanas said.