Many drivers put their car their pets in the car without any sort of restraint. Technically, you can buy special seatbelts designed for dogs or other pets. Drivers could also put the pet in a different compartment, such as the luggage area in an SUV.
But many pet owners do not do this, either because they don’t enjoy separating their pet from themselves or because they don’t think it’s necessary. Some reports claim that a full 84% of pet owners do not use restraints for their pets in the car. And the unfortunate reality is that this can certainly lead to car accidents.
Pets are a distraction
The thing to remember is that pets are distractions in the car. People often think about phones as the only type of real distraction that could cause a crash. But anything that makes a driver think about things other than operating the vehicle is a dangerous distraction. This certainly includes a pet who is moving freely about the vehicle or a dog who may be barking at things outside of that vehicle.
In fact, one of the main ways that drivers cause accidents in this situation is when they are attempting to gain control over the pet. Maybe a dog starts barking out an open window, a driver reaches over to pull the dog away from the window, and he or she inadvertently strikes a cyclist on the shoulder of the road.
What are your options?
Tragic and avoidable accidents like this happen all the time. If you’ve lost a loved one or been seriously injured in a crash, make sure you know what legal options you have.