Animals: Another Cause of Distracted Driving

What is distracting driving?

Distractions have always been a huge issue for drivers. Whether you take your pet with you on a trip or it’s a wild animal crossing the road, when you take your attention off the road for a second, you can get in a serious accident.

Distracted driving refers to a situation when a driver takes their attention off the task of driving for a period of time. According to statistics, 500,000 people are injured every year in these accidents. If we look at the data provided by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), we will see that:

  • Drivers taking pets in the vehicle are four times more likely to get in an accident.
  • Every year, 1 out of every five car accidents were caused by distracted drivers.
  • Drivers under 30 are more apt to get in an accident caused by distraction.
  • Using a cell phone during driving reduces a brain activity associated with driving by almost 40%.

Distracted driving can have serious consequences for victims who are left with property damage, medical bills, and long recovery times. A skillful car accident attorney can evaluate your case to determine compensation available in your situation.

Bugs, Spiders, Deer and Other Wild Animals

Insurance companies reported 1.3 million deer claims in 2016. And deer and bears aren’t the only problem – bugs, spiders and other small creatures distract drivers and cause serious accidents. Insurance companies don’t keep any data related to car accidents caused by insects and reptiles.

However, it is them who make drivers swerve into other cars or trees. And accident claims aren’t cheap. State Farm published that the average cost was almost $4,000 in 2016. If an insect or a wild animal appears on the road, don’t swerve. This will result in a serious crash.

The Risks of Driving with Pets

According to the AAA survey, 13% of pet owners say they are distracted by pets when in a vehicle. And over 40% of drivers who regularly take pets with them admit they often pay attention to their pets during driving. This is the most common cause of car accidents between pet owners. Over 10% of pet owners also say that they have taken pictures of their animals while driving a car and 17% of drivers say that they have given pets food and water at the same time as they were driving. To complicate the matter of driving with pets 50% of all drivers admit their pets are the main distraction when it comes to driving.

The survey also found that 30% of respondents are regularly distracted by pets while driving. Drivers say that giving pets treats, putting them in the laps, and petting animals cause major distractions. Taking your pet along on a trip is not just dangerous for you and other drivers who are put at risk by a distracted driver.

Your pet and the passengers in your car are also at risk. Although almost 50% of pet owners regularly bring their animals on road trips, most of them don’t restrain a pet in a vehicle. For example, a small dog that weighs 10 pounds that isn’t restrained in the vehicle will emit 300 pounds of force if the car gets in the accident.

A bigger animal will emit more force if not restrained. Dogs and cats get severely injured in car accidents and cause serious injuries to other passengers in the vehicle. Pet owners should make sure their animals don’t cause distraction on the road. If you bring a pet with you, make sure you restrained the animal properly. Everyone, including other drivers, you, passengers in your car and your pet will be safer if you follow these simple precautions.

What to Do After an Accident

If an accident happens, take photos of the damage of your car and skid debris on the road while you are at the scene. Then you should report the accident to your insurance provider. However, if a bug or a smaller animal caused a distraction, insurance providers make not take this into consideration. Insurance companies don’t care about bugs and ducks that cause you take your eyes off the road, hit the brakes and hit another car or a tree. In this case, you need a professional who will help you get compensation.

A professional car accident attorney can help you collect the evidence to prove that it was not your fault and you were distracted by an animal. When an accident involves other drivers, many people start apologizing for being distracted by a wild animal and not paying attention. However, if you know that you were distracted by a wild animal, you should not admit your fault or explain anything to other drivers. Any words that admit your guilt can be used later against you by the insurer of another driver. In many cases, accidents caused by wild animals are not driver’s fault, and more than one person gets distracted. In many cases, it is required to hire a professional that can determine the actual cause of the accident.

Get Car Accidents Caused by Distraction Legal Help

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents, and it can be very dangerous. It can cause death or serious injuries when your attention is distracted from the road. These accidents often lead to loss of compensation and expensive therapies, and if you have been in an accident, you should get compensation for your injuries. If you or your loved one has been in a car accident caused by an animal or due to distracted driving, it is in your interest to contact a professional car accident attorney to help you with your case.

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