Florida residents love their pets, but when those pets are loose in a car, they can easily contribute to deadly traffic accidents. According to the organization “Paws to Click,” one accident occurs every 18 minutes in this country because there is a pet loose in the vehicle, distracting the driver. About 30 000 accidents in the US each year are caused by dogs alone. According to the same source, one in five drivers admit to driving with a dog on their lap. While Florida does not have any regulations requiring pet owners to restrain their pets in a vehicle, it is the safest and most humane option.
While dogs are lovable creatures, when they are left loose in a car, they can cause a great deal of distraction to the driver. The dog may begin chewing the upholstery or may try to dig under the seats. Some dogs get motion sickness and vomit in the car. Many dogs like to hang out the window, which puts them at risk of falling out of the window or getting debris in their mouth or eyes. Many dogs also enjoy jumping all over the car, getting underfoot, or placing their paws on the steering wheel. All of these distractions can become deadly for the driver – and for the drivers of other vehicles nearby.
Another tragic consequence of allowing pets loose in a car is that they become victims in the event of a car accident. If you are in a car accident in Florida and are holding your dog in your lap, your dog will likely be killed due to the impact of the airbag inflating in front of you. As well, if a pet is unrestrained and you are in a collision, that pet becomes a projectile which can harm you in an accident. If your pet is airborne during an accident, they will likely impact and this will prove fatal. Placing your pet in a carrier or appropriate restrains can help prevent an accident, and can also save your pet’s life.
There are many ways to safely restrain your pet in your car. There are booster seats, car seats, and seat belts made for dogs. These items are inexpensive, widely available, and allow your dog to look out the window while staying safer. It is important to place your dog in restraints in the back seat of the car, where airbags will not harm your pet in the event of an accident. All other animals should be placed in carriers or crates in the back seat of the car. Crates and carriers are also available for dogs.
If you have been injured in a Florida car accident, you will need a good Florida personal injury attorney to represent your best interests. Contact the experienced legal team at the Flaxman Law Group for a free consultation. The Flaxman Law Group has decades of experience in Miami, Hollywood, Homestead, and throughout South Florida.