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Study highlights danger of driving with pet in the car

Distracted driving often stems from a cognitive choice to concentrate on something besides the road. It could be anything from calling a doctor's office to make an appointment to putting on mascara and that last layer of lipstick. The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration considers anything that takes a driver's eyes or concentration off the road, or their hands off the steering wheel, as distracted driving.

So it's no wonder that a recent study took on the issue of pets in the car. The study looked at 2,000 drivers who are 70 years of age or older. More than half of them drove with their pet in the car at least sometimes. The study found that seniors who always had their pet in the car while driving doubled their chance of being in a car accident

Researchers hope that concentration on this topic will lead to awareness as to whether laws should be changed. Right now only the state of Hawaii has a law regarding pets in vehicles. In that state, a pet cannot be in a driver's lap or obstruct the driver's view in any way.

Car accidents are unfortunately inevitable sometimes, as are some forms of distractions. But when drivers choose to take their concentration off the road, this type of negligent behavior can place the lives of others on the roadway in danger. Although a victim of a negligent driver may feel as if their right to safe transportation was taken away, that right can be regained through the legal system and with the support of a personal injury lawyer.

Source:, "Seniors driving with their dogs get in more auto accidents: University study," May 7, 2013

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