Most people cannot get enough of dogs. It is no wonder - they are loveable, loyal, and fun to play with. Canines are great companions and fun for the whole family. They are man’s best friend. Families everywhere take their dogs on trips and vacations, and some people even take dogs along on daily errands. Unfortunately, the car is not the best place for the family dog.

Most drivers probably don’t realize the risk involved with bringing their dog in the car and letting the canine run free. The distractions that a dog can cause while driving can make for a sticky situation, if something bad happens on the road.

In 2009, there were 5,474 people killed and 448,000 people injured in the U.S. from distracted drivers. Many of these accidents are believed to have been a result of unrestrained pets.

In a study conducted by AAA, 80% of drivers admitted to having brought their dogs on the road with them, whether it was on a day trip or vacation with the family. Out of those motorists, only 17% said that they used any kind of restraint for their pets. Most drivers just let "Fido" run free.

What These Dog Distractions Mean to You

If a Southern California ca accident were to occur, the result could end with a great deal of damage. An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash that happens at 50 miles per hour would create approximately 500 pounds of force. Even worse, an 80-pound dog in a collision occurring at only 30 miles per hour would exert about 2,400 pounds. Imagine that flying through your vehicle in a crash.

Other Startling Findings

Drivers in the study not only admitted to letting their dogs run free in their moving vehicles, 31% said that their dogs distracted them. Furthermore, 59% confessed that they engaged in distracting activities with their dogs while driving. Of those, 55% percent admitted to petting their canine friends. One in five drivers said they allowed their pets to sit in their laps while operating their vehicles. Also, seven percent said that they gave food and water to their dogs, and five percent recognized that they play with their dogs while driving.

This risky behavior can make for dangerous situations on the road. For just two seconds, a driver could look away from the road to pet, feed, or play with a dog—but those two seconds doubles the risk of an accident.

Even though drivers may not evaluate the risk they take when bringing an unrestrained dog in the car with them, the danger still exists. Distractions easily cause accidents.

Need Help?
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, you should contact one of the experienced Los Ageles car accident attorneys at Steinberg Injury Lawyers at (800) 989-6385.

Peter Steinberg
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Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Since 1982