The Caldarone Law Group, P.A.

A driver distracted by a pet could cause a serious crash

Distractions are everywhere. Some people may not even realize when something is distracting them, and in some cases, such as when a person is driving, not recognizing a serious distraction could prove immensely detrimental. In fact, some things that people love the most could actually distract them while behind the wheel.

Most parents would not leave the house without their children, and for many pet parents, that feeling is the same. Throughout your daily travels, you may see many vehicles with dogs in the front or back seat or even freely roaming throughout the vehicle. While this may not necessarily seem odd, it could be dangerous.

Dogs are distracting

Though people love their pets, dogs in vehicles can easily cause a major distraction to drivers. In fact, people often pet, play with and feed their dogs while also operating a vehicle. Many drivers also allow their pets to sit in their lap as they drive, which can seriously limit proper driving abilities. Any time a driver is not giving all of his or her attention to driving, that person is distracted.

Of course, when people think of distraction they typically think of texting while driving or otherwise using a cellphone. However, distractions can come in various forms, and if drivers do not properly restrain their pets inside vehicles, both animal and human could be at risk of serious injuries.

How to restrain a dog in a vehicle

Fortunately, numerous safety devices exist to restrain animals inside vehicles, which can limit driver distraction and ensure that the pet is better protected in the event of an accident. Keeping a dog in the back seat is typically safer because front airbags could cause serious or fatal injuries to a pet. A driver could also keep a pet in a crate inside the vehicle, but it is important to strap down the crate.

You may not have a dog of your own, or if you do, you always ensure that you properly restrain the animal inside your vehicle and try your best to limit any distractions it could cause. Unfortunately, not all drivers are as conscientious, and you could suffer serious injuries in an accident caused by a driver distracted by his or her pet. If so, you may have cause to file a personal injury claim against that driver in order to seek compensation for damages allowable under Florida state law.

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