Driving distractions extend beyond using your phone. Other seemingly harmless activities can be just as dangerous, such as interacting with pets in the car. Although North Carolina does not require pet restraints, securing your animal companion may help keep you both safe when traveling.
Different ways pets can distract drivers
As a pet owner, you may take great pride in understanding your pet’s needs. However, animals can be unpredictable inside a moving vehicle. Loud sounds, motion sickness, hunger and other factors may distress your pet. They may roam around the vehicle, bark or whine for attention, or unexpectedly jump onto the front seat.
Left loose, your pet can move around the vehicle and potentially cause a motor vehicle accident. In a collision, the lack of a harness may also cause your pet to become a projectile.
Despite the risks, an alarming survey shows that many pet owners choose to drive with their companions on their laps and that very few individuals use restraints.
What happens if you get into an accident?
Drivers who cause a car accident in North Carolina are responsible for paying damages. Securing compensation may become a challenge if you were involved in a crash because of your pet. The other party or insurance carrier may argue that you were distracted while driving.
Additionally, under North Carolina’s contributory negligence laws, sharing even just 1% of the fault eliminates your right to receive compensation. Proving that you are entirely blameless will be crucial to be eligible for payments.
The stress, inconvenience and potential harm that follow a car accident are not worth the risk. Apart from vehicle damage, a collision may result in injury to both you and your pet. Employing safety measures, such as pet restraints or keeping pets in the back seat, may help ensure your travels stay safe.