In 2014, 32,675 people died in motor vehicle crashes, down 0.7% from 32,894 in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This safety data always lags behind by a few years, but the overall trend in recent years is encouraging. Still, there are countless risks that come with being a licensed driver, or even sitting in the passenger’s seat.

If your teenager recently got their license, it may not take long for them to get comfortable behind the wheel and start forming some dangerous driving habits. In fact, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, and it only takes one incident to incur serious consequences or the need to hire criminal defense lawyers. Here are just a few ways to help your teenager avoid distracted driving.

Let Your Passengers Help
Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times, and while most people assume texting and driving is the main culprit, navigating a GPS can be equally as distracting a driver who’s in an unfamiliar area or is otherwise not so great with directions. If your teen is driving with a passenger, encourage them to ask passengers for assistance with directions and navigation, in addition to other distracting tasks like taking or making phone calls or changing the radio station.

Keep Conversations Light
While passengers can certainly be helpful in preventing distracted driving, they can also sometimes serve as distractions themselves. Teenagers talk to their friends all the time, so it makes sense that the urge is there even when driving down busy streets. Make sure your teen understands the importance of keeping conversations light — there will be plenty of time to save the heavy or serious talks for later, once they’ve safely arrived at their destination.

Ultimately, understanding these tips to help your teen avoid distracted driving helps make the roads safer for everyone. Of course, if you or someone you know was in an accident as a result of distracted driving, make sure to hire a knowledgeable lawyer for a criminal case, preferably one that has experience navigating through distracted driving cases. For more information about DUI laws, distracted driving laws, or hiring a lawyer for a criminal case, contact Rhett Bernstein.