If your four-legged friend loves car rides, it can be difficult to tell them to stay when you are on your way out. Unfortunately, mans best friend can sometimes be just as distracting as sending a text while driving.
According to a 2011 AAA survey, 65 percent of dog owners admit to putting or holding down their dog, taking photos and reaching back to comfort their pet while driving. Additionally, about 84 percent of survey respondents said that although they bring their dogs on car trips, they do not use any type of restraint for their pet.
Failing to use a restraint for your pet not only put them in danger, it is also puts you and other motorists at risk. Looking away from the road for two seconds can double your risk of a serious auto accident. Some states require owners to kennel or secure their pets while driving, while others apply distracted driving laws and penalize a driver if their pet is causing them to drive carelessly.
Although a pet restraint can seem restrictive, there are ways to keep your pet from becoming a distraction.
- Use a seatbelt Yes, pet seatbelts do exist and they're easy to use. Make sure you purchase a pet belt that is the right size for your pet.
- Find a comfortable pet carrier Look for a sturdy and roomy pet carrier with good ventilation. Also, secure the carrier so that is stays safely in place in case of an accident.
- Do not allow your pet to ride in the front seat, even if they are safely restrained.
- If you're going for a long trip, make sure you feed your pet a few hours before the trip to prevent him or her from getting carsick.
- Never leave your pet in a parked car.
Did you know that a 10-pound dog that is not restrained can generate 500 pounds of force in a 50-mph crash? In case of an accident, your pet is more likely to be injured if they are not properly restrained. If your pet manages to escape during the accident they also risk further injuries.
At Gordon & Doner, a personal injury lawyer in Florida can understand how much your pets can mean to you, which is why it is important to put their safety first when they must be in the vehicle with you.
If you or someone you love has been injured by a distracted driver, our attorneys can help you get the justice you deserve.