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Steven M. Lee, PC

How Pets in the Car Distract Drivers

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There are many types of distracted driving, such as chatting on the phone, texting, eating, and applying makeup. However, drivers often don’t consider the distractions created by having pets in the car. According to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association, 52 percent of respondents admitted to petting their dog while driving.

Distractions Caused by Pets

Few motorists seem to understand just how dangerous a pet roaming around inside their vehicle can be. Unrestrained pets are distracting to drivers, since they may:

  • Pace, whine, and seek comfort from their owners.
  • Jump or race around unpredictably.
  • Block the driver’s view of the road ahead.
  • Suddenly burst into the front seat.
  • Knock the driver’s hands off the steering wheel.
  • Crawl under the driver’s feet, blocking the brake pedal.
  • Chew or claw on carpets and upholstery.
  • Try to burrow under the driver’s seat.

Determining Liability

Proving that a distracting pet played a role in a collision is frequently difficult, since it largely depends upon the at-fault driver reporting on his own behavior.

If you're involved in a car accident and the other driver has a pet in his vehicle, you should ask him if the animal was in a pet crate or causing a distraction. Check if there is a pet carrier in the vehicle. If not, and if a police officer visits the scene, ensure the police report notes that the at-fault driver had an unrestrained pet in the car.

Collecting Damages

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you may receive damages for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Your attorney can strengthen your claim by gathering evidence to demonstrate that the other driver was distracted by his pet. He can use interrogations and depositions to determine the cause of the crash, and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

To learn more, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.


Category: Car Accidents and DWI Accidents


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