Dogs are man's best friends and, as such, it's only natural for them to accompany man on some of his best adventures, whether that's running an errand across town or driving all the way across the country.
Unfortunately, although the idea of riding in cars with dogs and other furry creatures is heartwarming, it's also surprisingly dangerous.
Though federal safety agencies don't keep data on pet-related distracted driving accidents, a survey sponsored by AAA and Kurgo Pet Products offered valuable insight into pet-related driver distraction.
While only 29 percent of respondents agreed their dog was a distraction in the car, a shocking 65% admitted to engaging in distractions like petting their dog, letting the dog sit in their lap, giving the dog treats or food, or playing with the dog while driving. Yikes!
The fact that pets may divert your attention from the road isn't the only thing that makes driving with them potentially unsafe. During an accident, an unrestrained pet may inadvertently injure itself or people in the vehicle. When a puppy turns into a projectile, it can pack quite the punch. In a 50 mph crash, a 10 lb. dog can generate up to 500 lbs. of force; in a 30 mph accident, an 80 lb. dog can be as great as 2,400 lbs. of force.
However, staying safe on the road doesn't mean having to leave your furry friend at home. You can reduce your risk of causing a pet-related distracted driving crash by restraining your dog with a specially-designed pet seat belt or in a carrier. Other pet safety tips include feeding your dog a few hours before the trip so that they don't get carsick and making them ride in the backseat to avoid airbag injuries in the event of a crash.
Injured in a Pet-Related Distracted Driving Accident? We Can Help.
If you were hurt in a crash caused by a driver who was distracted by a pet in their vehicle, you may be entitled to compensation for damages such as medical costs, vehicle repair expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The experienced car accident injury attorneys of Neblett, Beard & Arsenault can help you build a strong case for financial recovery. Contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.588.6303 today to schedule your free consultation.