Dogs and Distracted Driving

Dogs can be the best pets. They can be smart, friendly, adorable, great companions, and security guards. Some people say they love their dogs more than people, and we get it! Since people love their dogs so much, some of them never leave home without them or they bring their dog along on car rides regularly, whether it’s to the local dog park, a trip to the vet or the groomers.

Regardless of where the dog owner is headed, bringing the dog along for a ride can pose some serious safety risks that a lot of pet owners fail to consider. “Millions of Americans recognize that dogs are wonderful companions and often bring their favorite furry friend along on road trips, day trips and day-to-day errands. However, in a vehicle, this can mean added distractions for the driver and added dangers for all passengers, including pets,” according to AAA.

Dogs Can Be a Huge Distraction

AAA and Kurgo Pet Products sponsored a survey together. According to the survey results, 29 percent of respondents admitted that their dog had distracted them before and a whopping 65 percent of respondents said they had participated in one or more of the following distracted driving behaviors while their dog was in their vehicle:

  • Over half (52 percent) of respondents admitted to petting their dog while driving
  • 17 of them let their dog sit on their lap while they were driving
  • 13 percent of them admitted to feeding their dog or giving them treats while driving
  • 4 percent admitted to playing with their dog while driving

According to AAA’s “Doggie Distractions Fact Sheet,” only 16 percent of dog owners who have driven with their dogs in the past use any kind of a restraint system when their dog is in the vehicle. In other words, 84 percent of survey respondents who bring their dogs on car trips do not use a restraint, and their reasons provided for not using a pet travel restraint include having a calm dog, they never considered it (39 percent), they’re just taking the dog on a short trip, it’s too much trouble, etc.

“An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of force, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert approximately 2400 pounds of force,” reports AAA.

Dogs are wonderful, but they can be a big distraction when they’re roaming free in someone’s car. If you’ve been injured by a driver who was distracted by their dog, a cellphone, or something else, contact Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC to file a claim for compensation!

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