7th Jun 2016

unrestrained-pet-accidentsWhen driving with an unrestrained pet, accidents and injuries in Lancaster, PA can be more common, because the driver is distracted. Like other common distractions, such as cell phone use or any activity that takes your attention away from the road, unrestrained dogs and cats increase your likelihood of having a traffic accident. If you are the cause of an accident, you may be held liable for property damages, personal bodily injuries and even vehicular death. Don’t let your pet be the cause of a traffic accident—be sure they are properly restrained by:

  • Not allowing them to ride in your lap
  • Not allowing them to ride in the front seat
  • Using a crate or sturdy pet carrier that is secured so it does not fly forward if you have to stop suddenly
  • Utilizing a pet seatbelt harness for dogs, which you place on your pet and secure by attaching to existing seatbelts
  • Placing your pet in the middle of the back seat for optimal safety
  • Installing a pet barrier to keep your pet in the back seat and prevent them from climbing up front
  • Keeping the windows rolled up high enough so that pets cannot squeeze through while the vehicle is moving

Currently, there is not a federal law requiring pets to be restrained; however, some states have enacted laws concerning pets and distracted driving. Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey have distracted-driving laws that include pets, and Rhode Island is proposing similar unrestrained pet measures. Pennsylvania does not currently have a state law directly regarding unrestrained pets while driving, but the emergence of such laws within other states could prompt Pennsylvania and other states to follow suit.

Properly restraining your pet, including service animals, does not just cut down on distractions, it is also safer for your pet and your passengers. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, nearly 1,500 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. One way you can avoid potential life-threatening behavior is by eliminating the distraction of an unrestrained pet. If you love taking your furry friends along for the ride, make sure everyone is kept safe in the process.

If you, a friend or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver, please call Georgelis Injury Law Firm to sit down and discuss your claim, free of charge. We have helped thousands of people from the Lancaster County community recover monetary damages to compensate them and their families for the devastation that an auto, motorcycle or truck accident can wreak. Our lead attorney, Anthony M. Georgelis, Esquire, has been voted the best lawyer in Lancaster County for three years running, and his father, former President Judge of the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas, Michael A. Georgelis, consults on all of the firm’s cases. His unique perspective from behind the bench, combined with Attorney Georgelis’s vast trial experience and superior track record, have produced excellent financial settlements and recoveries for years to take care of those who have been injured due to the negligence of another, as well as their families.

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