Seniors Driving with Pets at High Risk of Accidents

Senior citizens may be at a much higher risk of being injured in accidents, although their overall accident numbers are much lower than other high-risk categories of drivers like teen drivers. A new study finds that senior citizens who are driving with their pets in the car, are at a much higher risk of being involved in such serious accidents.

Although seniors are not at a higher risk of accidents, they are more likely to be involved in serious accidents with a high risk of being injured or even killed. Those risks increase when a person is driving while distracted.

One of the most underestimated and neglected source of distraction for motorists today is the presence of pets in the car. Many Americans drive with their pets, and seniors who do so must know that their risk of being involved in an accident is much higher. A recent study conducted at the University of Alabama-Birmingham finds that overall as well as at-fault collision rates involving drivers above the age of 70 were when they were driving with their pets in the car.

Fremont car accident lawyers believe that this is the very first time a study has focused specifically on pets in the car as a source of distraction for senior drivers, increasing the risk of an accident. While there has been plenty of attention focused on reducing the risk of distracted driving, these campaigns have failed to target senior drivers, because it is generally assumed that these mature, responsible drivers are much less likely to be involved in an accident, because of distractions.

However, although seniors may have a lower rate of being distracted by technology like the use of texting devices and hand-held cell phones, they could be at a higher risk of being involved in an accident when their pets are riding in the car. Those risks are especially high when the pet is unrestrained, or when he’s sitting in the motorist’s lap.