Drivers in California must constantly be on the lookout for pedestrians to prevent serious crashes from occurring. Distracted driving greatly cuts back on pedestrian awareness, and it’s up to all motorists to keep their minds on the road and their hands on the wheel. AAA explains why distracted driving is so dangerous and what can be done to prevent it.

In general, there are three types of driving distractions. The first category is mental distractions. This includes daydreaming, talking with passengers, or using a hands-free mobile device. Next are visual distractions, which entail taking your eyes off the road for any reason. The last category is manual distractions, which happen when you remove your hands from the wheel. Texting and driving are considered extremely hazardous because they incorporate all three behaviors.

To understand just how dangerous these behaviors are, one only needs to look at statistics. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that up to 481,000 motorists use their mobile devices each day while driving. Additionally, in 2016 approximately 3,450 people succumbed to injuries caused by crashes where distracted driving played a role.

While there are laws in place to prevent certain types of driving distractions, it’s up to each individual driver to play his or her part. While most people agree that distracted driving is bad, many still take up hazardous behaviors, especially when it comes to texting behind the wheel. Even if you’ve been driving for decades, it’s crucial that you pay attention when driving. This is especially important when it comes to pedestrian safety, as you run the risk of causing severe injuries if you’re involved in a pedestrian crash.