Man driving car with dog and son sitting inside

Is Driving with Your Pet Dangerous?

We often hear about the dangers of distracted driving, such as talking on the phone, texting, changing the radio, putting on makeup, and eating, to name a few. However, there are less obvious forms of distracted driving that can be equally as risky. Passive distracted driving includes things such as listening to music or listening to other passengers in the vehicle. But another less talked about form of passive distracted driving is driving with your pet in the car. 

Pets are often looked at as members of the family. For that reason, many people make the decision to bring their pets with them when they go places. A driver may choose to bring his dog with him to a dog-friendly restaurant or store, or to go for a walk in the park. While certain occasions call for taking your pet with you in your vehicle, such as to the vet or the dog park, it’s imperative to understand the risks that doing so carries. 

Reasons Your Pet May Be a Distraction

Bringing your pet with you in the car can be a big distraction because:

  1. The pet may be nervous, causing the driver to pet it or talk to it;
  2. The pet may be overly excited, trying to climb into the front seat, or worse, on the driver’s lap;
  3. The pet may be hungry and the driver will attempt to give it a treat; or
  4. The pet may be sitting or standing in a manner that obstructs the driver’s line of sight. 

According to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the statistics are worrisome:

  • 29% of drivers say that they have been actively distracted by their pets;
  • 64% of drivers say that they have participated in activities that were potentially distracting; and 
  • 84% of drivers say that they have allowed their pets to ride in their vehicle unrestrained. 

So, What Can You Do?

While it’s probably best to leave your pet at home when not necessary when you do take your pet with you in your vehicle it’s important that you restrain them. This may mean putting them in a crate or a backseat pet hammock that prevents them from being as distracting and protects them should an accident occur. 

The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Injured in an Accident

If you have been injured in an accident due to the recklessness or negligence of another, it’s vital that you understand to what you are entitled under the law. With this information under your belt, you can make the important decisions regarding how you want to move forward. That’s why it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced Texas personal injury attorney.

At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the impact that an accident can have on many parts of your life and the importance of properly dealing with such negligence or recklessness. That’s why we will work to get you the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!