The risk of using cell phones and other electronic devices while driving is finally starting to hit the mainstream, though it remains much too common. Still, many people are starting to use hands-free devices, and more and more new cars are equipped with the ability to sync your phone. But one cause of distracted driving remains incredibly underappreciated, though it hopefully might start to get some attention due to a recent poll by AAA.
Many Americans take their dogs with them everywhere, including on long trips. And many of these Americans let their dogs run loose in the vehicle, or even try to provide care to their animal, resulting in hundreds of accidents per year. According to AAA:
- 38 percent of pet owners bring their pets with them in the car
- 37 percent of those owners never restrain their pet
- 13 percent of owners confess to being distracted by their animals at times
- 17 percent of owners attempt to feed their animals or give them water while driving, and 12 percent admit to attempting to photograph their animal while driving
Considering just how many pet owners there are in America, the fact that a third of them take their pets with them in the vehicle, and that 13 percent of those are distracted by their animals, means that there are millions of potential accidents each year caused by this form of distracted driving. No one knows just how many people are killed or injured by this form of distracted driving, but the number must be tragically high.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, you might not think to ask if there was an animal in the other vehicle. If there was, it is reasonable to think the animal’s presence might have contributed to the crash. Please retain a qualified attorney to help you know the right questions to ask to determine who was at fault for your injury.