Driving with Pets Increases the Likelihood of Distracted DrivingOctober 18, 2018
For most of us, our pets are a part of the family. They sit with us, sometimes share our food, and for many, they even sleep in our beds. That is why many of us choose to travel with our pets. Whether we are taking them to the park, the vet, or to visit with family and friends, the safety of our pets and ourselves is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, car accidents caused by pets and distracted drivers, is not uncommon.
Not Restraining Pets Adds to Odds of Injury for You Both in a Car Accident
In the United States, there are 43.4 million households with pets. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2013 alone there were more than 5.6 million car accidents, contributing to 1.59 million injuries, and 32,719 fatalities. Since 34.4 million households drive with their pets, it is likely that many of them were also involved – more than 80 percent of which were likely unrestrained. A meager 16 percent of people who drive with their dogs in their vehicle properly restrain them. This means that these animals were in a state of shock, if not actually injured.
There are more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions reported annually. Most pets should be kept in the rear of the vehicle so it is all the more important that crash tested pet safety products are used.
No different than humans, when a car is rear ended, or in any way crashes at even 25 miles per hour, a dog that is not restrained can be propelled at a force of 40 times the animal’s weight. With that kind of force, even small dogs can impact at a speed that could prove lethal for both the pet and the owner.
Car Accidents Caused by Pets and Distracted Drivers
Despite the fact that most drivers are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving, they continue to drive with their dog in the car, often paying more attention to them than the road. According to Pet Pro Supply Co. the statistics of car accidents caused by pets and distracted drivers are alarming:
- 60 percent of dog owners have been distracted by their pets while driving.
- 52 percent of dog owners have petted their dog while driving.
- 17 percent of drivers have driven while their dog has been in their lap.
- 13 percent of drivers have fed their dog while driving.
- 4 percent of drivers admit to playing with their dog while driving.
Properly Restrain Your Pets
It is apparent from the statistics that driving with pets often increases the likelihood of distracted driving. But beyond that, unrestrained animals pose a danger for both themselves and you. To ensure that you and your pets are safe, it is important to choose crash tested pet safety products including crates and harnesses. If you have initiated a lawsuit surrounding injuries sustained from a car accident, but worry about your ability to keep up with all of your expenses, call USClaims.
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