MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Texas Department of Transportation hosted an event in McAllen for their distracted driving campaign.

The event, hosted at La Plaza Mall, allowed visitors to participate in a simulation titled ‘Talk. Text. Crash.’

The simulation resembled the first-hand dangers of texting and driving with TxDOT urging the dangers of distractions on the road.

Juan Castillo, 14, participated in the simulation and spoke with ValleyCentral about his personal experiences with texting and driving.

“I’ve seen texting and driving with a couple of people in my family, like my parents, sometimes my cousins, uncles,” Castillo said. “I don’t think it’s a great thing to be doing when on the road and it could cause a lot of one-on-one accidents.”

According to TxDOT, distracted driving is on the rise with a 10% increase in deadly crashes since 2022.

Castillo is on his way to earn his learner’s permit and ensures he’ll be fully attentive on the road.

“I think my experience will be something that will be very, very cool. You know, getting to drive is a privilege that is given to us. I think I will be responsible with my permit,” Castillo said.