Kentucky teens die in traffic accidents far too frequently. Reports indicate that the number of traffic fatalities is increasing, so it is important for parents to take action to minimize the risks to their children.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a report showing that traffic fatalities increased by 7.2 percent in 2015 over the previous year. Preliminary data from 2016 indicates that the trend is continuing. Among those killed, the Governors Highway Safety Association reports that teenagers showed the largest increase at 10 percent. Data about the causes of the accidents demonstrates that human choice factors are the likely culprits for the increasing fatality numbers.

Distracted driving accidents increased by 8.8 percent, the largest increase among human choice-related fatal accidents. These were followed by people who didn’t wear seat belts at 4.9 percent, people driving impaired at 3.2 percent and people who were speeding at 3 percent. All of these factors are preventable. Parents can demonstrate good driving behaviors for their teens by refraining from cellphone use, obeying speed limits, wearing seat belts and not driving impaired. They should also teach their teens to speak up if they are riding in vehicles that are being driven in unsafe manners.

People who are injured in a motor vehicle accident that was caused by a motorist who was texting and driving often have to face lengthy periods of hospitalization during which they are unable to return to work. In some cases they may be left with a permanent disability. They may want to have the assistance of a lawyer in seeking compensation for those and other losses in filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault motorist.