Can Traveling with a Pet Cause Distracted Driving? | Eaton & Torrenzano

Can Traveling with My Pet Cause a Distracted Driving Accident?

Posted on: February 2, 2021

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. Most people assume that distracted driving relates to cellphone use while behind the wheel, but there are many other forms of distracted driving, such as traveling with a pet. When traveling with a pet, the driver must consider the safety of themselves, other motorists, and the pet. A driver might travel with their pet on the front passenger seat or even on their lap, which are dangerous behaviors.

All states have a law regarding traveling with a pet, and some are laxer than others. Penalties come in the form of fines, and some states may even recommend jail time, depending on the circumstances.

What is Distracted Driving? 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), any activity that can take the driver’s attention away from the action of controlling their vehicle is a distraction. Some common forms of distracted driving include:

  • Using a phone for taking a call, reading, or sending a text message
  • Using a navigational device while driving
  • Eating or drinking
  • Passengers in the vehicle
  • Any outside distractions, both visually and cognitively
  • Reaching in the back seat for an object

How Common is Distracted Driving?

In 2018, over 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving incidents. The same year, over 2,800 people were killed. The average number of distracted driving deaths each year in the United States is around 3,000 fatalities. Every day, about eight people are killed in distracted driving collisions.

How Do I Safely Secure My Pet in the Car?

Driving with a pet, especially when the pet is not secured properly, is a form of distracted driving. The best way to travel with a pet is to have them in a crate and have the crate secured to either the floor of the car or other latch mechanisms.  Having a pet travel in the lap of the driver, in the bed of a pickup truck, in a passenger seat, or any other place will distract the driver. It is also extremely dangerous for the pet as well.

A driver who has their pet in the front seat puts them in harm’s way, especially if there is an accident and the airbags are ignited. Most airbag systems travel at a tremendous speed when ignited, so a minor accident can seriously injure an animal that is not secured in the vehicle or in a crate. Having a pet secured in a traveling crate limits distractions and helps give their pet ample protection. If one is hit by a distracted driver, they may have legal options.

Brooklyn Car Accident Lawyers at Eaton & Torrenzano Help Clients Injured by Distracted Drivers

Distracted driving comes in many forms, including traveling with a pet that is not secured safely and properly. If you were injured by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a Brooklyn car accident lawyer at Eaton & Torrenzano for help with your case. Call us at 718-332-7766 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Brooklyn and Staten Island, New York, as well as Hillsborough, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, the Bronx, and Manhattan, Kings County, and Richmond County.

Contact the Brooklyn and Staten Island NY Personal Injury Law Firm today with your questions, comments or concerns.

Eaton & Torrenzano has locations in Brooklyn and Staten Island, NY and Hillsborough, NJ. We serve clients throughout Kings County and Richmond County including Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Manhattan, and New Jersey.