Anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road is considered a distraction. That includes adjusting the radio, looking ahead at the route on a navigation system, reaching into the fast-food bag for a French fry, and answering a phone or responding to a text.

Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the wheel), and cognitive (taking your mind off driving). Whether it is good for people or not, multitasking is now commonplace. That means individuals are juggling two or more different tasks at one time, even while driving. This propensity to try to fit more into a day may seem like it is improving efficiency, but certain studies show that multitasking often means the focus and attention to detail supplied to tasks isn’t as great when doing two things at once, as opposed to focusing on one task at a time. In terms of driving while distracted by something else, the consequences can be deadly.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says about 3,000 Americans die each year in crashes involving a distracted driver. Younger drivers, or those between the ages of 15 and 20, are more likely to become distracted drivers than other age groups. The Canadian Automobile Association says drivers who drive distracted are eight times more likely to be in a crash or near-crash event compared to non-distracted drivers. Transport Canada’s National Collision Database indicates distracted driving contributes to an estimated 21% of fatal collisions each year and around 27% of serious injury collisions.

There is still work to be done to encourage drivers to be more attentive behind the wheel.