States Focus On Pets As Cause Of Distracted Driving

Dallas residents are already familiar with how serious of a problem distracted driving is. Distracted driving is usually attributed to items such as cell phones or other technology. However, a number of states are now recognizing pets as another significant and potentially deadly cause of distracted driving.

A recent study reports that 65 percent of dog owners admit to distracting activities while driving with their dogs. This includes actions that may seem relatively minor, such as reaching over to pet a dog.

However, looking away from the road for just a couple of seconds can significantly increase the risk of a distracted driving car accident. According to some groups, this illustrates the need for new legislation prohibiting drivers from engaging in specific activities while driving with pets.

For example, residents of one state can face fines from $250 to $1,000 for letting pets roam free within vehicles. New laws in other states aim to prevent residents from driving with pets on their laps.

Pets present a variety of issues aside from unsafe driving habits or a higher risk of crashes. Pets thrown from vehicles during an accident can cause serious injury to anyone involved (let alone the pet).

A majority of pet owners do not realize the distraction their pets can cause in the car. They are also often not aware of available items that encourage safe driving. Simple car restraints are inexpensive and can be purchased at pet stores. Pet beds and dog seat belts are also practical options for dogs, as they frequently enjoy car rides. Cats do not handle car rides as well as dogs, so pet carriers with seat belts are the best option for cat owners.

Benefits to restraining pets in cars

There are numerous benefits to restraining pets while driving. The driver is less distracted, and passengers are safer. In addition, restrained pets will not flee a vehicle in the event of an accident, which helps owners avoid the heartache of losing a beloved animal. Restraints also make it easier for emergency workers to assist during an accident.

Parents would likely never consider driving with an unrestrained child. It is equally important to apply this concept when driving with pets.