Pets: A new breed of distraction

As personal injury attorneys we are all too familiar with the dangers that come with distracted driving. At least 10 percent of motor vehicle accidents across the United States are caused by distracted drivers. While the focus on distracted driving usually revolves around drivers using their cell phones, a recent Alabama study found another type of common distraction: pets.

The risk of distraction by pets is especially prevalent in older drivers. Motorists over the age of 70 double their risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident when they have a pet in the car, particularly one that is unrestrained.

If you must travel by car with your pet there are a few precautions you can take to help protect both your safety and that of your furry friend. When your vehicle is moving, your pet should be secured. Fido may love to peek his head out of the window but keeping him in a well-ventilated carrier will allow him to feel the wind between his ears and stay safe. Securing the carrier to the seat helps to prevent tipping or sliding off the seat.

Staying mindful of safety when you're driving, particularly with a pet in the car, can help protect you, your companion and all other drivers on the road. However, even the most vigilant driver can become involved in a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else's negligence.

If you are in such a situation it is always wise to speak with a personal injury attorney who is experienced in motor vehicle accident claims. He or she can work with you to pursue any appropriate claims, work with your insurance company and help you focus on recovery.

Source: The Inquisitr, "Driving With Pets Increases Accident Risk," May 3, 2013

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