Every year more than 4000 teens are killed in traffic collisions. About 60% of these deaths involve a passenger and nearly half result from someone not using their seatbelt. More than 400,000 are injured.  This is the #1 cause of death among teens.  If you could stop these deaths from happening would you?

For the past 30 plus years, we have been teaching students to buckle up as soon as they get in a vehicle. Today, you can ask toddlers through senior citizens what’s the first thing to do when they get in the car.  They will almost all say “Buckle Up.”  Everyone knows driving distracted is stupid and wrong but we haven’t begun practicing putting away distractions as soon as we get in a vehicle.  We can prevent nearly 4000 teen deaths a year if we buckle up and put away distractions.

So what is driving distracted?  It is anything that takes our eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, and/or mind off driving.  Some of the ways I have observed people driving distracted include: using their cell phone to talk, text or using other functions available, putting on makeup, shaving, eating, drinking, reading a newspaper or tablet, watching videos, reaching for objects, turning to talk to passengers, using a laptop, and even changing their clothes. Some people think using a hands free device is not a distraction but it is because it takes your mind off the road and your surroundings.

In Arizona,  a teen under the age of 18 must get an Instructional Permit for at least 6 months before they get their license.  They can get their permit at 15 years and 6 months of age.  During this permit time,  they have to have a licensed driver over 21 with tbem. They need to have a total of 30 supervised driving hours before they can get their license (at age 16).  Once the driver completes their permit phase, they can take their driving test for the class G license.  The first 6 months of this license has restrictions: only one child that is not a sibling can be in the vehicle, students cannot be out between 12 AM and 5 AM unless driving from a school function, church, or work, drivers cannot use a hands free device during the first six months having a Class G license unless it is an emergency.  These restrictions are in place so the new drivers can give their complete attention to driving.  Although the restrictions eventually are lifted,  the risk associated with driving do not decrease, therefore we need to encourage all drivers to put away ALL their distractions.  Visit Azdot.gov for more information.

We can’t prevent cancer, diseases or illnesses from taking a young person; nor can we prevent acts of God such as weather related deaths; nor can we prevent wild animal attacks (shark, mountain lions,etc), But we CAN PREVENT the #1 killer of our teens DISTRACTED DRIVING.

Visit Createrealimpact.com for scholarship opportunities for students 14 – 22.  This scholarship is available twice a year.

You can learn more about Distracted Driving Awareness by visiting:





The Southern Arizona Law Enforcement Foundation (Previously the Tucson Police Foundation) START program is available in Tucson for new drivers.  Visit their website for more information.   State Farm Insurance offers a new driver program called Steer Clear.

Thus information was provided by Kevin McNichols. Mr. McNichols is an instructor for Impact Teen Drivers. He retired ad a Sergeant from the Arizona Department of Public Safety in 2018.  Prior to working with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, he was a Deputy and School Resource Officer with the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and a Recreation Coordinator with the City of Kingman.

Let’s Make an Impact on Teen Drivers in Arizona

A partnership between Impact Teen Drivers and the Arizona State Troopers Association

Impact Teen Drivers & AZTroopers

Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) and AZTroopers have been working together to help reduce and eliminate preventable collisions. In February 2018, Retired Sergeant Kevin McNichols facilitated two separate Train the Trainer classes on the ITD What Do You Consider Lethal? program. In cooperation with California Casualty Insurance, ITD, Tucson Police Department, and Huntington University, the AZ Troopers trained over 30 new instructors. Since retiring, Sergeant McNichols has been able to spend a number of hours working with local insurance companies and their clients, local schools, hospitals, and the health department to reach out to a number of teen drivers. If you are interested in becoming an instructor, or having the program brought to your community group or school, reach out to Impact Teen Drivers at www.Impactteendrivers.org or by phone at 916.733.7432. They can put you in touch with an instructor nearby.

  • Impact Teen Drivers (ITD) seeks to educate, engage, and empower teen drivers to stop the #1 killer of teens in America- 100% preventable car crashes—particularly those cause by reckless and distracted driving.
  • Car crashes have been the leading cause of teen fatalities in America for decades and roadway fatalities and serious injuries have been on the rise over the past few years.
  • We want people to understand that anything that takes your hands on the wheel, your eyes off the road, and/or most importantly your mind off your driving is distracted driving.
    • We want people to make our roadways safer for all of us by reducing their speed, putting all distractions aside, and wearing a seatbelt properly every ride.
    • Our evidence-based program “What Do You Consider Lethal?” teaches teens and parents what is really lethal to them isn’t snakes, spiders, or serial killers, but what is really dangerous to teens at this point in their lives is poor decisions behind the wheel—whether as drivers or passengers.

Teen driver crashes are the leading cause of death for our nation’s youth. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions, not “thrill-seeking” or deliberate risk-taking.


Percent of teen fatal crashes do not involve alcohol or drugs.


Percent of teenage passenger deaths in 2009 occurred in vehicles driven by other teens. (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 2009)


Percent of 11th grade drivers reported at least one crash over the past year, including 5 percent who experienced two or more crashes.

teens ages 15-19 lost their lives in crashes. (Centers for Disease Control, 2009)

teens killed each year in preventable collisions, 50% of them are not wearing seat belts and nearly 50% are passengers.


Teenage passenger deaths in 2009 occurred in vehicles driven by other teens. (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 2009)

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are one of the primary causes of death of teens outranking other prevalent causes of death, such as disease, violence, and other bodily injuries.

Test your knowledge and take the Impact Teen Drivers Impact Quiz: ANSWERS IN BOLD

The leading killer of teenagers is...
  1. Suicide
  2. Drug Related
  3. Motor Vehicle Crashes
How many teens die on average every day in car collisions?
  1. 6
  2. 11
  3. 15
Who is least likely to wear seatbelts?
  1. Adults
  2. Senior Citizens
  3. Teenagers
Three passengers in a car _______ the risk of a crash in a car driven by a teen.
  1. Doubles
  2. Triples
  3. Quadruples
What percent of distracted teen drivers who caused fatal collisions were using a cell phone?
  1. 11%
  2. 21%
  3. 31%
Texting takes your eyes off the road for 3 – 5 seconds. On the freeway, how many yards are you traveling over that time?
  1. 100
  2. 50
  3. 200
Using safety belts can help reduce the risk of fatal injury by:
  1. 25%
  2. 50%
  3. 75%
One study found that ______ percent of fall-asleep crashes involved 25 year olds or younger.
  1. 20%
  2. 55%
  3. 75%
Using a cell phone while driving decreases driving-related brain activity by what percent?
  1. 66%
  2. 55%
  3. 75%
Approximately ________drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving at any moment.
  1. 660,000
  2. 500,000
  3. 1 million

Arizona Class G Drivers License

If you are at least 16, but less than 18, years of age you will be issued a graduated driver license that is valid to operate any vehicle that does not require a motorcycle or commercial driver license. To apply for a graduated license you must have held an Arizona instruction permit for at least six months. Graduated driver licensing systems (GDLS) are designed to provide new drivers of motor vehicles with driving experience and skills gradually over time in low-risk environments. There are typically three steps or stages through which new drivers pass.
Click Here to View the Online Arizona GDL Lesson Module!
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What we do…

Want to be a Trainer?

Would you like to present the Impact Teen Drivers’ materials and facilitate a “What Do You Consider Lethal?” Presentation in your community, but don’t know where to start? Fill out the Request for Information form so that we can guide you through the process:

Resources for Trainers

First Responders

Impact Teen Drivers formed in response to the overwhelming consensus among California Highway Patrol officers that the worse part of their job was coming to the scene of a crash where a young person had lost his or her life unnecessarily. These crashes are as preventable as they are horrific, and no one knows that better than first responders. Impact offers many online resources to assist first responders in fine-tuning the traffic safety messaging they are already doing. Train the Trainers is also available to adults interested in gaining skills to most effectively educate on this topic. The format may be face-to-face-meetings, small group training, conference calls, or online webinars.

10 Step Facilitator Guide

The 10 Step Guide is Impact Teen Drivers Guide 101. It provides a step-by-step tutorial in how to engage teens in a 60-minute presentation, including two-way dialogue about distracted driving. You will watch videos, spin the probability wheel, learn about graduated driver licensing, and more. It is a great tool for anyone who is eager to address reckless and distracted driving as it is straightforward, and easily adaptable to fit different styles of presentation/facilitation.

› Go to 10 Step Facilitator Guide

Impact Your School | Comprehensive Curriculum and Discussion Guide

Impact Your School is the comprehensive guide to Impact Teen Drivers’ curriculums, guides, and outlines. Included are the 10 Step Guide, additional discussion questions, middle school presentation guide, and elementary curriculum.

› Go to Impact Your School

Elementary School Curriculum

Although elementary-aged children are years away from obtaining their licenses, it is never too early to promote safe driving. The elementary curriculum focuses on appropriate passenger behavior—not yelling and screaming at a driving parent for example. This document contains the curriculum for elementary age children, which includes engaging and informative lesson plans, scenarios, activities, and discussion topics.

› Go to Elementary School Curriculum

Middle School Curriculum

Middle-school-aged children are a great population to engage in discussions about safe driving, because although driving may be on the distant horizon, it is still in sight. They are also at a crucial age to embrace the responsibility as a passenger. Statistically, middle school is when children start being driven more by people other than their parents—big brothers and sisters, friends’ siblings and parents, etc. This document contains the curriculum for middle schoolers, which includes engaging and informative lesson plans, scenarios, activities, and discussion topics.

› Go to Middle School Curriculum

Lesson Plan for Multiple Subjects

There are 7 great lesson plans that address specific topics related to reckless and distracted driving that are easily incorporated into classroom learning. These are ideal if you want a lesson that corresponds with the subject you already teach, or if you simply prefer to tackle an issue on an individual basis rather than all at once. Included in these lesson plans are: Defensive Driving, History, Persuasive Essay, Physics, Positive Decision-Making Behaviors (great for law-enforcement officials that wish to engage high school students without doing too much orating), Risk Factors, and Role Playing. Also featured on this page are lesson plans from the Centers for Disease Control, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and Discovery Education.

› Go to Lesson Plans

Latest Updates from our program…

2019 Arizona School Resource Officers Annual Conference

2019 Arizona School Resource Officers Annual Conference

Mandi Childers of the Coolidge Arizona Police Department was selected as the School Resource Officer of the Year at the Arizona School Resource Officers Association 2019 Annual Conference. She attended the Impact Teen Drivers What Do You Consider Lethal? Train the Trainer in Tucson in January 2018 sponsored by the Arizona State Troopers Association and Impact Teen Drivers.

Congratulations Mandi! Thanks for making a difference.

read more
She took a pledge and won

She took a pledge and won

On April 11, 2019, Retired Arizona DPS Sergeant Kevin McNichols spent the day at Walden Grove High School talking about the dangers of distracted driving.    Sierrah Seibel, a student in Mr. Hansen's Public Safety class at Walden Grove High School took a pledge to...

read more
April was Distracted Driving Awareness month

April was Distracted Driving Awareness month

As we approach the month of May, we will enter the 100 deadliest days for young drivers. With the school year winding down, teens find themselves celebrating all the end of the year events such as graduation, prom, and having the ability to stay out later. Combining the inexperience of newer drivers with the increased risk young drivers being out more often contribute to this deadly combination.

read more

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Tips to Stay Alive!


  • BUCKLE UP! It takes two seconds. Almost half of those that lost their lives in collisions last year would be alive if they would have had their seatbelt on.
  • LIMIT ALL DISTRACTIONS. TURN OFF YOUR CELL and DON’T TEXT. Using your cell phone while driving is as dangerous as driving drunk. Remember every day behaviors can become deadly when done behind wheel (e.g. talking to friends, adjusting the radio, putting on makeup, eating the burger)!
  • SLOW DOWN! Obey posted speed limits. The faster you drive the higher your odds of a fatal crash.
  • LIMIT YOUR PASSENGERS. Each passenger increases the risk of a fatal crash by almost 100%.
  • FIND YOUR VOICE. Speak up if you feel unsafe. Save a life – yours or your friends’.

Make a difference!

Help us to educate, engage, and empower teen drivers to stop the #1 killer of teens in America- 100% preventable car crashes—particularly those cause by reckless and distracted driving.
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