Trying to get his or her head out of the window, sniffing and nodding, licking your face, or hopping onto your lap while you are driving are just some of the things that your cat or dog can do while riding in the car with you. Or what if your pets get into the bag you kept at the back seat and now you have to pull him back while controlling the steering wheel?
Unrestrained pets in the car can be the reason for dangerous distractions that may result in a serious car accident, and yet, a is exactly what a lot of people do. Unfortunately, if an accident happens because of a pet passenger, the person accountable for any resulting injuries or other damages will be the driver and not the pet.
How Pets Create Distraction For The Driver in The Car
You may keep your pet along with you for the company when you drive but as discussed he may be the cause of dangerous distraction. The unrestrained pet in the car can also be a deadly projectile in the vehicle accident by creating driving hazards. Yet these risks still don’t stop many pet lovers from driving with their pets.
In the USA, nearly 85 million families own a dog. More than half of them, drive with their dog once a month. Around 16% of people restrain their dogs with a harness or put them in a crate while traveling in the car. About one in five people take their hands off the steering wheel and often eyes as well from the road ahead to pat their pet or stop them from climbing into the front passenger seat. Due to this, they are likely to interact with the dog or other pet while driving by
- Reaching into the back seat to calm the anxious pet who is whining or crying
- Giving treats during the drive
- Allowing the pet or holding him to sit in the lap
- Taking a photo of the pet while driving
- When the pet is frightened and may crawl around the feet of the driver or suddenly jump over the lap
- Or an unrestrained pet interrupt the driver from applying brakes or may depress the accelerator
Even for two seconds, looking away from the road doubles the risk of the car crash and that distraction could prove fatal for the driver, the pet, other passengers sitting in the car, or some innocent occupant of another car.
Along with the passenger and driver, pets in the ride are also in danger of being killed or injured when they are not restrained. Sometimes when the driver applies the brakes suddenly, the loose pet can be thrown around in the vehicle like at the dashboard or windshield, injuring other passengers or driver.
Moreover, they can jump out of the open window at moving traffic when brakes are applied. When sitting on the lap of the passenger in the front seat, they can be crushed by the airbag during a vehicle collision. Just because you love your dog and want his company does not mean to endanger his life.
Restraining Pets For Everybody’s Safety
To avoid dangerous distractions, leave your pet at home restrain him properly when he rides with you in the car. Some pets especially dogs do not like being restrained. They may be more happy being at home instead of taking a ride.
If you are taking your pet to the park, a kennel, or the vet then he will have to stay restrained no matter if he likes it or not. Always keep the pet in the back seat of the vehicle to save the driver from distraction. Some pet restrain options include:
- A padded harness with a solid connector that can attach to the LATCH system of the car
- A basket-style holder or pet car seat for small pet animals
- A soft or hard-sided crate with a connecting strap
- Restrain the dogs in the SUV area of the cargo with a barrier gate though this way dog will not be much protected if a crash happens
Studies show that the heart rate of a pet increases faster by 10 beats per minute when he is unrestrained. On the other hand, when dogs are harnessed, drivers feel; much calmer with dropping heart rate beats 28 and 34 per minute.
Did the Pet Cause the Accident?
There is no harm in allowing your pet to sit on your lap while driving but many people do this. You might find it cute but actually, you are putting yourself, other passengers, and your pet at risk for the serious injury that might happen in the accident due to the distraction caused by the pet.
If you got injured in a car accident with a diver who had a pet in the car who was not restrained then there are chances that the crash was caused due to the distraction. Bakersfield personal injury attorneys fight for the compensation of the victims who got injured in a distracted driving wreck.