Teenage drivers in Kentucky lack the experience of more seasoned motorists, which leaves them more vulnerable to accidents. Young people are also more likely to text and drive, which can lead to serious injuries and even loss of life. The Balance explains these risks and what you can do if you have a teen driver who engages in dangerous behaviors.

Distracted driving includes any behaviors that take the driver’s attention away from the road. While texting behind the wheel poses a serious threat, there are also many other behaviors that are just as serious. These include taking selfies, reading emails or texts, talking on a mobile device, looking at pictures and videos, eating, and carrying on boisterous conversations with passengers. Even a taking your attention away from the task at hand for a moment can be deadly, as illustrated by distracted driving statistics.

In 2016, distracted driving was cited in the death of 3,450 people. 15% of accidents involving teen drivers are thought to be caused by passengers, while 12% was linked to texting while driving. Additionally, 10% of teenage driving fatalities were thought to be caused by distracted driving behaviors.

There are steps you can take to lower the risk for young drivers. Make sure your kids understand that all distracted driving is dangerous, whether texting or engaging in some other behavior. Along with emphasizing the increased risk of accident, also explain the other consequences that can occur. For instance, being involved in an accident makes insurance rates go up, which can be a real issue for teens already subject to extremely high rates. Lastly, set a good example when behind the wheel so your young driver will also follow suit.