In an effort to keep our roads safer, the public has been warned about dangers that range from drunk, drowsy, and drugged driving to distractions that include talking on a cell phone and texting. Now, recent research points to another potential distraction that many might have overlooked. According to the new study, the crash rate for older individuals who drive with a pet is nearly twice that of those who never drive with a pet or seldom do. This is a problem that warrants widespread attention because, of the nearly 2,000 drivers over the age of 70 who were surveyed, roughly one-third said that they owned pets and more than half indicated that they took them along for drives in the car.
NOTE: Unless a pet is securely placed and restrained in a moving vehicle, it is likely to become a distraction as well as a flying projectile in a crash.