Seniors and Pets Can Be a Dangerous Combination Behind the Wheel

by Carmen Dellutri on June 6, 2013

Naples personal injury lawyerDespite the risk of distraction, it is not uncommon to see a pet in the lap of a Naples driver. However, a new study shows that pets in the car may be even more dangerous for older drivers.

Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham surveyed approximately 2,000 drivers 70 or older who drive with or without pets. They found that older drivers who reported always driving with a pet had twice the rate of crashing compared to seniors who drove pet free. The researchers suggest that adding to the cognitive or physical workload while driving may negatively impact older drivers more than younger age groups.

“This is the first study to evaluate the presence of pets in a vehicle as a potential internal distraction for elderly drivers,” said Gerald McGwin, Ph.D., a professor in the Departments of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology and Surgery and senior author of the study. “The increased crash rate for elderly drivers who always drive with pets is important in the context of increasing driver awareness about potentially dangerous driving habits.”

As this study highlights, cellphones are not the only distractions behind the wheel. Anything that could potentially remove a driver’s eyes from the road, their hands from the steering wheel or their concentration from the task of driving can lead to a serious accident.

Given Florida’s reluctance to prohibit texting behind the wheel, we doubt Fido will be banned anytime soon. However, as Naples injury lawyers, we encourage drivers to consider how pets may impact their safe driving.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Naples accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Naples injury attorneys for a free consultation.

Previous post:

Next post: