Cruising around south Florida in the car on a beautiful sunny day, it’s one of the reasons we live here. And taking the family dog might seem like fun for the driver and the dog, but dogs present some issues regarding safety for everyone.
First of all, we often discuss the issue of distracted driving as it pertains to texting or talking on a cell phone. But a dog in the car can be an equally dangerous distraction. The American Automobile Association conducted a survey and found that many people enjoyed riding with their dog on their lap, petted their dog while driving, and many even said they liked to take pictures of their pooch while driving. Talk about distracted. One moment of distracted driving can cause a horrific accident and so ee urge people not to do any of these things for obvious reasons.
Let’s talk about the safety of your pet. Driving with an unrestrained dog in the front seat is very dangerous for several reasons, but one in particular is that most cars today have airbags, front and side. If an airbag goes off, it may actually throw your dog through a window and out of the car onto the street. This has happened, and it’s totally tragic. Petco.com has several dog restraints here: Click Here.
Let’s also not forget about the terrible potential danger of leaving a dog unattended in your car. It seems unthinkable that a responsible person could leave their beloved pet in a hot car, but it happens all the time.
Fortunately, Governor Rick Scott signed House Bill 131 into law, allowing Floridians to break into locked automobiles to rescue animals or vulnerable people who are “in imminent danger of suffering harm.”
The bill comes as a direct response to the growing number of incidents where pets and children have died because they have been left in overheated cars. However, the new law will only protect breaking into a vehicle under strict guidelines. If you’re faced with the situation, here’s what you need to know: First, you must check that the vehicle is locked. After doing so, call 911 or law enforcement before entering the vehicle or immediately after rescuing the child or pet. Finally, use no more force than is necessary to break in — and remain with the person or animal until first responders arrive.
Here’s our advice: Leave the dog home, unless you’re taking it to the vet or moving.
South Florida Accident Attorney
In 20+ years of representing victims of serious car crashes, we have seen it all including pets injured and pets causing accidents. Dogs and cats are wonderful companions and they are like family to many people, but they simply don’t belong in our cars.
We are experienced personal injury attorneys representing people all over Florida who have been injured to to the carelessness or negligence of someone else. Please call us if you have any questions,, and thank you for reading our blog. 954-356-0006.