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Driving Safely with Your Dog

Driving down the highway with the dog hanging out the passenger window is an iconic American pastime, and it can be difficult for a dog owner to recognize that letting their pet have the run of the car puts themselves and other drivers at risk. The fact of the matter is that loose dogs in the car are a huge source of driver distraction, and a drastically under-appreciated cause of many car accidents.

Driver distraction accounts for over 80% of all traffic accidents in the United States each year, according to a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. When a dog is free to roam about a vehicle they tend to dominate the attention of the people in the car as they are pet, fed, or jump up on laps.

How to Stay Safe

Many dog owners are resistant to the idea of restraining pets in crates or kennels, but in the context of motor vehicle transportation, it is always the responsible move to make. An unrestrained pet will likely be seriously injured in an accident, and the distraction caused by the dog makes that accident even more likely to happen. Take these steps to avoid a tragic mishap:

  • Never let a dog ride unrestrained in the rear of a truck. When in the truck bed, use a crate that has been secured with tie downs. This will prevent the dog from losing their balance and falling in the event of a sudden, unanticipated maneuver.
  • Use the crate in the car. Dog owners frequently already have crates and kennels that are portable enough to be used in a car. Crating the dog in the back seat or rear cargo area is an excellent way to keep your dog safe and avoid distraction.
  • When a crate isn’t an option, try a pet barrier. Many dog crates are simply too large to fit in a back seat, or are too difficult to move back and forth, and in these instances, a physical barrier can be erected to bar your dog from moving into the front of the vehicle. These adjustable devices can be found at many pet stores.

Following these simple steps will dramatically reduce your risk of being involved in an accident, but unfortunately, the negligent actions of another driver could still result in a collision.

Contact Us

If another driver failed to take adequate precautions to prevent distraction and injured you in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the experienced Madison car accident attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. today at 800-242-2874 to discuss the details of your case.