Summer is road trip season for Atlanta drivers. CBS reports an estimated 38 percent of travelers taking a road trip bring their pets with them on the vacation. While it may be fun to take your furry friends with you, however, your pets can present a signifiant risk behind the wheel. The problem is, drivers tend to become distracted by pets in the car. This distraction can be just as dangerous as using a smart phone or electronic devices.
A driver who is paying attention to a pet and not the road can become responsible for any resulting motor vehicle accident that occurs due to his negligence. An Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyer can provide legal assistance to victims injured by a motorist who has a pet with him and who is focused on the animal instead of on road safety.
The Risks of Pets in Atlanta Distracted Driving Accidents
A recent AAA survey found 13 percent of pet owners admit they are distracted by their pets when in a car. Of drivers who take their pets with them, 42 percent said they pet their animals while driving. This is the most common distraction for pet owners. Twelve percent of drivers indicate they have taken a picture of their pet at the same time as they were driving the car and 17 percent of people with pets in the vehicle with them said they have given their animals water or food at the same time as they were driving.
Another survey reported on by Daily Light found an even higher percentage of drivers admitting their pets are a problem when it comes to paying attention in the road. In this survey, 29 percent of respondents said they were distracted by their pet. Drivers reported doing things like putting their dogs in their laps, giving them treats, and petting them.
Taking a pet along on a road trip is not just dangerous for other motorists who may be put at risk by a distracted driver. The pet and the people in the car with it can also be at significant risk. Although almost 40 percent of pet owners bring their animals along on road trips, more than 37 percent said they have never restrained a pet in the car.
A dog that weighs just 10 pounds who is unrestrained in the car will emit 300 pounds of force if the animal flies through the air in a crash. An 80-pound dog can exert up to 2,400 pounds of force if unrestrained. Dogs and cats can become badly hurt if involved in an accident, and can cause serious injury to others in the car.
Pet owners need to ensure they are making the responsible choice. If you bring a dog, cat, or other animal with you, make sure your pet is properly restrained and not a distraction. Everyone, including your animal companion and other motorists on the road, will be a lot safer with these simple precautions.
The Atlanta distracted driving accident lawyers at Van Sant Law, LLC can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at 404-991-5950 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.