Distractions can be deadly for teen drivers

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The spring can be a busy time for teenagers with prom,graduation and graduation parties. Whatever the season, teen drivers are twice as likely to cause a fatal crash than all other drivers combined according to the Impact Teen Drivers Program.

The program, presented Monday night by School ResourcesOfficers in Oro Valley, teaches young drivers and their parents about taking responsibility on the road. Distracted driving is responsible for more teenage deaths than drugs and suicide, according to program organizers.

"Kids my age don't have the experience," said Jacob Benzenhoefer,who will apply for his permit next month.

His father, Mike Benzenhoefer, said he knew Jacob should attend the program as soon as he learned about it.

"I don't want him texting and driving," he said. "I don't want him on the phone. I don't want him around friends that are reckless."

Friends in the passenger seats are just as dangerous as other forms of distracted driving like cell phones and the radio, according to the program. The hope is to change the perception of distracted driving, like the appreciation for seatbelts that did not always exist.

"There needs to be a change in the culture," said the olderBenzenhoefer. "People of all ages are out there driving distracted because that's how they were raised."

Craig Reck. On Twitter @CraigReckNews)