Every year, despite changing laws, texting and driving takes numerous lives. It causes car accidents that never needed to happen. It puts people in the hospital. Distracted drivers pose a risk not just to themselves, but also to their passengers and to those driving near them.

One of the most common reasons that people text and drive is because they think they can do it safely and quickly. They know they should watch the road, but they don’t see the harm in quickly answering a text.

However, the truth is that most drivers get distracted for an average of five seconds if they hear the phone beep or buzz and decide to answer a text. While that may not sound like long, a driver who is going 55 miles per hour could drive across an entire football field in that time — all without looking at the road.

Plus, that’s just the average time. It goes up when the driver has a long text to read, when they write an extensive reply message or when they have to fumble around to pull their phone out of their pocket. What if the driver winds up looking down for seven or eight seconds? At highway speeds, the distance they can cover is tremendous, and a lot of issues can present themselves during those critical seconds.

Until people really understand the risks, texting and driving will keep happening. Those who get injured in accidents with these dangerous drivers need to know what legal rights they have to compensation.