Pet lovers in the state of Maryland often drive with their animals in their cars. It is not uncommon to see people behind the wheel with dogs sitting on their laps or sitting in the front passenger seats. Obviously, there are times when taking pets out of the home is necessary, but they can be extremely distracting to their owners who are supposed to be focusing on the road. They may even cause their owners to crash. When pet-related distracted driving accidents occur, the victims of these events may be entitled to pursue compensation for their losses through legal means.
According to the American Automobile Association, 52 percent of individuals who drive with dogs in their cars pet their animals while driving. An estimated 17 percent of these drivers allow their dogs to sit in their laps. It is believed that 13 percent of these individuals feed their animals in the car and roughly 4 percent acknowledge that they play with their dogs while driving.
The safest way to drive with an animal in the car is to make sure it is properly restrained. However, only 16 percent of individuals who have taken car trips with their dogs are believed to use some sort of pet restraint system. AAA also advises pet owners to only allow their pets to ride in the back seat or back of the vehicle so that they do not come in contact with airbags.
Obviously, numerous drivers do not see the danger of driving with their pets unrestrained and in the front seats of their cars. No one thinks that anything in their vehicle will distract them enough that they will cause an accident, but it happens all of the time in Maryland and elsewhere. Those who are victims of distracted driving accidents resulting from pet owners paying more attention to their animals than the road may file personal injury claims against the responsible parties in an effort to seek relief for any damages sustained.