Driving with Pets a Common Distraction in South Florida

When we think about distracted driving, many of us will think about cell phones and text messaging devices.  But there’s so much more to it.  Pets, children and other passengers can be just as dangerous.  Unfortunately, there is no way to accurately record their involvement in auto accidents, as drivers are not likely to admit fault by distraction.


According to Yahoo! Autos, officials are targeting pet harnesses and the issue of pets in vehicles.  Despite good intentions, many owners who are buckling up their dogs may not be using a harness that will keep the animals or passengers safe. Recent studies indicate that popular pet restraints come with serious flaws.  In recent research, there was only one pet restrain, the Sleepypod Clickit Utility Harness, that was able to provide safe restraint for both the dog and the passenger.  All the others were a disappointing fail.

Our  car accident lawyers in Fort Myers understand that you would never ride in your vehicle without buckling up your infant.  So why would you do it with your pup?  Put it this way: if you have a 30-mile-an-hour collision, your 25-pound dog is going to turn into a projectile just the way your 25-pound toddler would.  In a recent AAA survey, more than 30 percent of drivers admitted to being distracted at some point by a dog climbing into their lap when driving.

Remember safety first. Purchase a dog safety seat and it will be safer and more comfortable for your dog if your turn or stop the car suddenly.

If your dog is not a fan of car rides, you will need to use extra caution when driving. For dogs who get car sick, avoid feeding a meal for several hours before a car ride and ask your vet about anti-nausea options.

When riding in the car in a carrier, you want to make sure that your pup has a well-ventilated carrier that has a secure door and latch.  You want to make sure that it’s big enough for your dog to sit and lie down.  Place it facing forward so your dog will get plenty of air during the trip.  It’s also a good idea to place a towel or sheepskin on the carrier’s bottom to make your dog more comfortable.

Don’t let your dog hang his head out the window. He loves it, but it’s an easy way for the pet to get eye damage from flying dust and dirt.

As of 2010, Florida Statute 828.12 states any person who carries a pet in a vehicle in a cruel or inhumane manner is guilty of a first-degree misdemeanor.

It’s only natural for man’s best friend to stay close by his master’s side, but for dog owners who drive frequently, bringing Fido along for the ride can be risky. Remember these safety tips and buckle them in just as you would any other passenger in your vehicle.  Happy travels!

If you or someone you love has been injured, contact the Hollander Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.  There is no fee unless we win.  Call 888-751-7770 today!