Think about the last time you picked up your phone while you were driving. Perhaps you wrote it off as an emergency, something you had to do because there was critical information coming in on your phone. You probably got focused on the road again after putting the phone down, forgetting the incident. But it turns out that there exists a  hangover effect of distracted driving, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. This hangover effect of distracted driving could lead to serious injuries.

For the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and other organizations focused on learning more about distracted driving, the phenomenon has been studied from perhaps every perspective in recent years. Lawmakers have tried to use that data to craft compelling laws that discourage the behavior. Despite those efforts, however, it’s still one of the most commonly engaged in behaviors behind the wheel across numerous age groups.

If you assume that because you’re just pulling your attention for a couple of seconds that you’re fine, you’re in for a surprise: AAA says that you lose focus for a further 27 seconds after putting the phone down. That means your phone comes at a serious cost of lost attention.

If you imagine closing your eyes for thirty seconds or so, it’s easier to see just how much ground you could cover if traveling at speeds upwards of 45 miles per hour. This is one of the reasons why distracted driving has such high risks. Even with all the educational efforts involved and the increasing laws trying to crack down on the problem, there’s a perception that just looking away for a brief period isn’t that unsafe. It’s that kind of thinking, however, that could lead to life-changing accidents.

Few text messages or updates on your phone are worth even picking it up when you’re in the car. Consider those who are addicted to their phone picking it up on a regular basis and the many minutes and even hours lost when people are not paying attention while trying to drive.

Avoid distracted driving and you could help save lives.