When you think of distracted driving, you probably think about talking on the phone, texting, eating, using the rear-view mirror for grooming, and other similar activities. You may not think about how a driver can be distracted by pets to such a degree that an accident occurs.
How Pets Can Distract Drivers
If a pet quietly lies down in the back seat and sleeps until the driver arrives at his or her destination, there will likely be no problems. But there are numerous ways in which a pet can distract the driver. Some examples are:
- The pet moves back and forth across the seat and tries to climb over and get in the driver’s lap.
- The pet succeeds in getting in the front seat and gets under the driver’s feet.
- The pet barks or makes another sound, causing the driver to turn around and check on the pet’s well-being.
- The driver reaches behind the seat to give the pet a treat or some water.
- The driver good-naturedly plays with the pet and, in the process, the driver takes his or her eyes off the road. Maybe even takes his or her hands off the wheel for a moment.
- The driver notices a driver in another car playing with or taking pictures of the pet.
- The driver allows the pet to ride in the driver’s lap even while the driver is driving.
Distracted Drivers Who are at Fault for an Accident are Liable for Damages
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2019, at least 3,142 people lost their lives in distracted driving accidents. Thousands more were injured. Some of them so severely, their lives will never be the same.
No one can drive safely who has anything to do other than keep their eyes on the road. Looking away for even a few seconds increases the risk of causing a car accident.
How an Attorney Can Help
It may be difficult to prove the accident was caused by the pet distracting the driver. The driver may offer a million excuses as to why he or she was not distracted by the pet. An experienced personal injury attorney will investigate and know how to obtain the evidence necessary to show the driver’s pet was a driving distraction.
The personal injury attorneys at Springer & Lyle can help you obtain the reasonable compensation you are entitled for your injuries, lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other physical damage. Contact us at 940.387.0404 for a free consultation.