Did woman’s dog cause fatal car accident?

Distracted driving accidents are often related to cellphone use and texting while driving. The suspected cause for a recent car accident may encourage some Florida drivers to change their habits or be more watchful on the road. A woman was driving with her Chihuahua on her lap when she collided head-on with another vehicle driven by a mother whose daughter was also in the car.

Both the woman with the dog on her lap and the Chihuahua died in the accident. Police allege that road conditions at the time of the accident are not a cause for the collision. Rather, they suspect distraction is behind the accident and one report suggests that the dog on the woman’s lap could have been the distraction.

Even though Chihuahuas are small dogs and easily fit on a person’s lap, their presence may be very distracting while a driver is trying to pay attention to the road. Imagine, for instance, that a dog jumps off a driver’s lap onto the floor near the brake and gas pedal while the driver is attempting to slow down. The dog could easily get in the way of the driver’s feet, making it challenging to control the vehicle’s speed.

The mother and daughter in the other vehicle were injured in the crash, but did not suffer life-threatening injuries. This accident may be quite traumatic for either or both of them, though. The mother may fear driving or having her daughter in the car with her and the daughter could suffer extreme stress because of getting into such a severe accident.

The driver with the dog on her lap most likely did not think her dog would impact her driving. In fact, she may have driven with the dog on her lap many times before without an issue. This accident may serve as a reminder to drivers and passengers of the dangers of distracted driving. Cellphones are not the only distraction in cars; watching for other potential distractions in your car could save your life or another person’s.

Source: kirotv.com “Dog on driver’s lap may be factor in crash that killed woman, pet,” Oct. 17, 2012