Most dogs love a good car ride where they can stick their noses out of the window, let their tongue fly, and sniff all of the amazing smells that you go by on your journey. While this is typically fairly safe when your pup is buckled up via harness, it’s when they aren’t buckled or in their kennel and decide to make their way up to the driver’s seat when things can become dangerous. Or maybe you have something in a bag in the back seat that your dog is getting into and you need to pull him back. Regardless of what it is they are doing when they are unrestrained, it can lead to some dangerous driving conditions.

Today we are going to be going over the dangers of having your dog unrestrained in the car in order to help you protect yourself and your beloved dog while preventing unnecessary and potentially fatal accidents. And, if you were involved in a car accident where the other driver had their dog loose in the car, you may be entitled to compensation due to distracted driving. Be sure to contact our Minneapolis personal injury lawyers at Woods & Thompson, P.A. today.

Dangers of Unrestrained Dogs

According to a survey conducted by AAA, there are 78 million dogs residing in more than 46 million households throughout the United States, with only 16 percent of those who travel with their dogs putting them in a crate or restraining them with a harness while the vehicle is moving. These drivers also admit to:

  • Reaching into the back seat to interact with their dog
  • Holding the dog or allowing them to sit in their laps while they drive
  • Giving their dogs treats while driving
  • Taking a photo of the dog while driving

Not only does the dog climbing around in your car add an unnecessary and potentially dangerous distraction to the driver, but even looking away from the road for two seconds doubles your risk of being in a crash. So next time Fido looks like he could use an ear scratch or a treat, make sure to wait until your car is parked.

Restrain Your Dog — For Everyone’s Safety

They make excellent dog seat belts for an affordable price to help keep you and your dog safe while you drive. Just be sure that your dog is in a harness so that he or she is not being restrained by their neck. Although we never like to think anything like this could happen to us, if you were to need to slam on your brakes for any reason or got into an accident (even if it wasn’t your fault), this becomes an incredibly dangerous position for your dog to be left in. Not only is your dog’s life at risk, but also your own and other drivers’.

Did a Dog Cause Your Car Accident?

If you were injured in a car accident with a driver who had a dog loose in their car, there is a good chance that the accident was caused by distracted driving. At Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis, our personal injury lawyers will help you fight for the compensation you deserve after a distracted driving crash. Contact our personal injury lawyers today to learn more — and remember, please buckle up — both you and your pets!