Although not much has been devoted to distractions by man’s best friend, there are many risks associated with dogs and car travel. According to AAA, unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 auto accidents annually. Two-thirds of dog owners surveyed said they routinely pet, play, and feed their dogs while driving, and 21% said they have held a pet in their lap while driving.
Even if your dog is the perfect puppy, accidents can, and do, happen. A dog may climb in your lap, sniff around your neck, or lick your face. Not only can such distractions take your attention from driving, they can lead a serious or deadly accident. An unrestrained dog can be easily thrown around the inside of the vehicle or out of the car.
You would not allow your child to move freely about the vehicle or sit in your lap, would you? What about your best friend? After all, dogs are “man’s best friend.” To ensure your safety and the safety of your pet, always keep your dog restrained with a car harness, crate, or barrier. A dog can get in the way of the steering wheel making it difficult to turn. Never allow your dog to ride in the front seat; even a 10-pound dog can be injured by an airbag or become a flying object if not securely retrained.
Someone injured in an auto accident caused by a driver distracted, may have able to seek compensation for negligence. Whether the cause of the distraction was a pet or something else, distracted driving is negligent driving. An experienced auto accident attorney can help the victim understand his/her rights. Once a lawsuit is filed, if the victim needs financial assistance until the case settles, litigation funding may be the answer.
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