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Driving with Pets on Laps is Dangerous, Experts say

| Jan 25, 2011

Driving with your dog on your lap may be fun, but it could also be very dangerous, according to news reports.

"An unrestrained pet can be hugely distracting - if he is seeking your attention, putting his face right in front of yours, starts chewing up the upholstery or is vomiting because he is car sick," said Katherine Miller, director of applied science and research for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, according to news reports .

Although driving with your pet on your lap isn't a banned distraction, like texting while driving is, it may soon be. Hawaii is the only state with a law banning drivers from operating a vehicle with a pet on their lap, but Oregon may soon become the second. Oregon is considering fining drivers who hold their pets while driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2009.

You not only put yourself at risk when driving with your unrestrained pet, pets can also sustain injuries themselves in a car accident. An unrestrained pet can be ejected from the vehicle, or get crushed by a driver thrown forward by the collision.

As a North Charleston personal injury lawyer , I always recommend drivers to use a pet carrier or harness restraint when traveling in the car with their pets. It not only reduces distractions, but it also keeps pets safe. Whether your state decides to make it illegal to drive with your pet on your lap, you should not do it.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact a personal injury lawyer in North Charleston .

Categories: Distracted Driving
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