You have a lot on your mind. Maybe you’re thinking about getting divorced, and it’s consuming your thoughts during any spare time you have. Maybe work has been very busy lately, and you keep thinking about deadlines and projects.

Regardless, the time you spend behind the wheel often feels like the perfect time to think. You turn the radio off, you keep two hands on the wheel and you stare out the front window, lost in thought. You look like a safe driver from the outside, but are you?

You may not be. When the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) categorizes different types of distractions that drivers face, they deliberately list being “lost in thought” as one of the reasons for car accidents. It’s right there with eating, smoking, using a cellphone and all the rest.

You can even argue that getting lost in thought is more dangerous than some of these other activities because it is harder to control. You don’t choose to start thinking about work or your divorce. It just happens. You don’t even realize it. By the time you notice that you got distracted, you may be on the verge of an accident.

But don’t take it lightly. This seemingly innocent activity can lead to serious injuries.

As you can see, you need to stay focused when you drive. You need to remain alert. Unfortunately, other drivers may not do the same, even if you do. They can cause accidents that put you in a local medical center, and you may need to seek financial compensation for your costs.