Have you ever gotten home in the car with no memory of the drive there? Have you ever zoned out behind the wheel and then suddenly realized that you passed your exit and you don’t know where you are?

It happens all the time. You’re supposed to think about driving, but your mind wanders. Along with cellphones, it’s one of the biggest reasons for distracted driving accidents. People just start thinking about something else, they don’t concentrate on the road and they make mistakes.

This type of distraction often leads to confusion and muddled thinking. As one person put it: “If I look confused, it’s because I’m thinking.”

That may not matter when you’re just sitting at your desk. When you’re in the car, though, it can be a recipe for disaster. A moment of confusion means that your reaction times slow down dramatically. You don’t recognize hazards.

On top of that, you can start to make fundamental mistakes as you try to react. If you realize that you’re about to miss your exit, for instance, are you going to cut across three lanes of traffic to try to make it? When you do, are you going to forget to check your blind spot? In mere seconds, you can go from slight confusion to a devastating wreck.

The key is to think about one thing at a time. Commit yourself to driving. Stay focused until you stop the car, and then turn your attention elsewhere.

Even when you do this, though, other drivers won’t. They still cause accidents. If you suffer serious injuries, you need to know how to seek financial compensation.