No happiness is quite as pure as when your pup prances up to you with your keyring in her mouth, knowing that you are ready to take her for a ride. You open the passenger side window slightly, so that she can feel the wind in her fur. You take her to a park that is just far enough outside the city that she can forget that she is a city dog, and she appreciates that, but the rides in the car are her favorite part, and yours. The bad news is that your best friend has the potential to contribute to distracted driving at least as much as the Facebook friends of the other drivers on the road do. Yes, dogs in the car are a significant cause of distracted driving accidents. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, whether because of a distraction that wags its tail or one that constantly sends notifications, contact a Houma car accident lawyer.
Canine Passengers and Distracted Driving
Even the most well-behaved dogs can cause a distraction behind the wheel. You have seen the way your dog reacts at home when it hears a noise at the end of the block or when it sees out the window that the neighbor’s cat is walking through the neighbor’s yard across the street. Imagine how it would react if it was riding with you on I-10 and it saw another dog through the window of a passing car.
According to a study by Volvo Car USA, dogs in the car cause frequent distractions to drivers. How distracting the dog is depends on where it is riding in the car more than it does on the breed of dog or the traffic conditions. Dogs that were not able to roam freely in the car because they were wearing harnesses or pet seat belts or were confined to crates or carriers caused an average of three distractions per hour. Dogs that were able to roam freely in the car distracted their drivers an average of seven times per hour. In other words, it is just as hard to drive when a German shepherd unexpectedly jumps into your lap as it is to drive while responding to a text message.
From a legal standpoint, it is not the dog’s fault if a doggie distraction causes an accident. It does, however, increase the share of fault of the driver who was transporting the dog. If you got injured in a car accident when your dog was riding in your car but not in a pet carrier, it could reduce the amount of damages you could win in a lawsuit.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Car Accidents Involving Distracted Driving
Medical bills are not cheap for anyone, not even for dog lovers. A car accident lawyer can help you recover damages if you were injured in an accident where an unrestrained dog in the car distracted the driver. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.