Having pets along for a car ride or a road trip can seem fun and a great option to spend time with your furry companion, but it can also be dangerous and cause distracted driving accidents. Not only do pets sometimes inadvertently cause you to look away from the road, but they can also injure themselves and you during a car accident.
There are several ways to minimize distracted driving caused by pets traveling with you. To avoid a potential car accident caused by a pet, we’ve offered some insight on how pets can cause accidents in the first place. If you have been injured due to a distracted driver, consult an experienced distracted driving accident attorney that is knowledgeable in distracted driving laws in Utah.
Ways Your Pet Can Cause a Distracted Driving Accident
There are numerous ways a pet can cause a distracted driving accident. More than 3,000 people lose their lives yearly because of distracted driving. So, how can you make sure that you are traveling safely with your pet? Here are some ways your pet can cause accidents and how you can avoid driving accidents while having your pet alongside you on your journey.
You Keep Your Pet in the Front Seat
Pet owners that allow their pets to sit in their front seat or on their lap are risking a car accident. This is because it is hard to manage pets if they get scared, agitated, or anxious during the car ride. If a pet chooses to react unexpectedly, it could result in the driver making a sudden move that results in a car accident. Airbags are not designed for pets and could potentially harm or kill them during deployment.
A good solution to traveling with pets is to always keep them in the back seat or the back cargo area in larger SUVs. This will prevent your pet from affecting your driving and will minimize any distractions you can have from the road.
Your Pet Rides Unrestrained
If your pet rides unrestrained in a vehicle, they may be tossed out of the car during a serious collision or may be thrown around the interior of the car. To avoid situations like this one, it is best to always travel with your pet secured and restrained in the back seat or cargo area. A good way to restrain your pet is to use a pet crate.
Your Pet Doesn’t Use Car Safety Equipment
Depending on the type of pet, they may be able to use other car safety equipment other than a crate. Using car safety equipment minimizes distractions because it keeps your pet feeling secure, tethered, and keeps them from making sudden movements that could impact your safe driving.
Pet safety equipment comes in all shapes and sizes, depending on the breed and size of the animal:
- Pet seat belt: A pet seat belt is specially designed to keep your pet safe. They work with the existing seat belt system made for humans and are a good way to keep pets from lunging, jumping, or climbing while in the car.
- Pet booster seat: Booster seats are specially designed for smaller pets working up to harnesses or seat belts. This will allow your pet to have the height to look out of the window while you drive and be secure while doing so.
- Pet harness: This special harness wraps around your pet’s torso and attaches to the seatbelt. These need to be securely fastened, but give them enough room to breathe and relax.
Always check to make sure the safety equipment you’re looking into is correct for the size and species of your pet. Using the wrong safety equipment can cause more harm to your pet in the event of an accident.
If You Are Injured Due to Distracted Driving Caused by a Pet, Consult a Utah Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have an injury because of a distracted driver caused by a pet, the skilled attorneys at Feller & Wendt have years of experience helping those who have suffered because of a personal injury caused by someone else.
Our knowledgeable legal team is dedicated to your unique case and has the expertise to advise you regarding the legal process to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To assess your specific situation, call us at (801) 499-5060 for a free consultation or fill out our online contact form for more information.