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Car accidents and pets

Imagine that you have just been in a car accident caused by another driver that has left you injured. As you get out of your car, the driver of the other car runs over to see if you are okay and then tells you he is sorry that his dog got in the way of his driving. Now probably even more frustrated after the explanation, you wait for medical help and think to yourself how in the world drivers' dogs can cause car accidents. As unlikely or as likely as it sounds, every year thousands of people are injured in car accidents by drivers who are distracted by their pets.

While the exact numbers are not available, it is estimated that tens of thousands of people are injured in car accidents by unrestrained dogs. We all know of the dangers of texting or using a mobile phone while driving, but being distracted by a pet in the car has now been added to the list of distracted driving activities. 

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, nearly 7500 were killed in accidents caused by distracted driving in 2013. So far, the National Highway Traffic Safety Association does not have a specific category that identifies accidents caused by drivers distracted by pets; however, the statistic is housed in categories like distracted passengers.

Unrestrained pets in vehicles can not only cause injuries to other drivers, but unrestrained pets can also cause injury to the driver and passengers of the vehicle in which the pet is riding. According to the director of applied science and research for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, an unrestrained pet that weighs 35 pounds can create 1500 pounds of force car accidents that occurs at 35 miles per hour. The next time you have your pet in the car be sure it is restrained properly.

If you have been injured in a car accident that was caused by another driver's unrestrained pet, please call the Pittsburgh car accidents attorneys at Goodrich & Geist today for a free consultation at 412-766-1455. 

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