Distracted driving is something that many people are tempted to do from time to time, even when they are otherwise very safe drivers. Your phone rings on the way home from work, and you think it may be a client. Your phone gets a text on your way to the store, and you think it’s your spouse telling you what to buy when you arrive. No matter how it happens, you’re tempted to pick it up. It doesn’t feel that dangerous.

It is. Distracted driving plays a bigger role in fatalities and serious injuries in the United States than many people realize. It’s important to consider the realities and think about the ramifications before engaging in any distracting behavior.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claim that distracted driving takes nine lives every single day, on average. It also leads to more than 1,000 injuries in car accidents. Reading one text message can cause a multicar crash that puts numerous people in the hospital.

Additionally, the CDC notes that cellphones are not the only distraction. They divide distractions into three categories. First, there are visual distractions that keep you from seeing where you’re going. Next, there are manual distractions that mean you’re not gripping the wheel with two hands. Third, there are cognitive distractions which mean that, even if you appear to be driving safely, you’re not actually mentally focused on driving.

Distraction behind the wheel is nothing to take lightly. Unfortunately, many people do. If one of these drivers hits you and causes serious injuries, you may be able to seek financial compensation.