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Most Dog Owners Engaging in Distracted Driving in Missouri

Dog owners who take their animals in the car with them may be largely underestimating just how much of a distraction their canines can be in a motor vehicle. When responding to a recent AAA Survey only 29 percent of dog owners said that their animal was a distraction when they brought their dog along for a car ride. In reality, however, 65 percent of people who traveled with their pet in their vehicle engaged in some kind of distracting behavior. dog

The majority of pet owners – 84 percent – said they bring their dog with them in the car sometimes, whether to go to the pet store or dog park or to run errands or go on vacation. Unfortunately, many of these dog owners are endangering themselves or others when their animal is in the car with them. If you are hurt by a distracted dog owner in a motor vehicle accident, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer.

Dog Owners are Often Distracted By Their Pets

Dog owners engage in a variety of different kinds of behaviors that are classified as a distraction when their pets ride in the car with them. For example:

  • 17 percent of dog owners said they allowed their pets to ride on their lap while driving.
  • 52 percent of pet owners whose dogs were in the car with them pet the pup while driving.
  • 13 percent of pet owners who traveled in the vehicle with their dogs fed the animal treats or food while driving.
  • Four percent of people driving with their dogs in the car played with the pups while behind the wheel.

When a dog owner engages in any of these behaviors, he takes his eyes and his focus off of the road. Research has shown that any time someone looks away for two or more seconds from the record, the risk of an accident significantly increases. These activities are taking the dog owner’s attention away for far longer than two seconds.

Unfortunately, if a dog owner does get into an accident with a pet in the car, the animal is in danger and could also cause injury to others in the vehicle. Only 16 percent of people who take their dog in the car with them said they use any kind of pet restraint system to secure the animal. As Esurance points out, a dog that is not restrained becomes a projective. A 10 pound dog in a 50 mile per hour crash can create the equivalent of 500 pounds of force and an 80 pound dog in a 30 mile per hour crash can create force equal to 2,400 pounds.

To ensure your pet does not become a distraction and to prevent your dog from becoming a projectile if a collision occurs, pet owners should always restrain their pets in the car. There are pet seat belts that can be used to keep the animal in place or pet owners can have a securely-fastened crate or carrier in their vehicles to keep the pet safe.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle and Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030.

Missouri Student Injuries and Risk of TBI

High school and college football are taken seriously in Texas, so when an East Texas town approved plans to shut down entry-level tackle football, objections were expected.  The fact that the school board was able to make the switch from tackle football with virtually no opposition was such a shock to many that The New York Times even wrote an article about it. football

The decision to make the change to flag football and suspend the tackling aspect of the game for younger kids was made in response to a growing awareness of just how dangerous repeated head injuries can be.  Sports staff and schools that offer football programs have a responsibility to protect young people and to respond appropriately when a head injury occurs.

If school or coaching negligence causes head injuries to occur or exacerbates the risk of traumatic brain injuries, accident lawyers in Springfield, MO should be consulted.  Tolbert Beadle & Musgrave LLC can help victims to pursue a claim for damages against those responsible for the harm resulting from brain injury.

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury a Top Priority

Hits to the head have long been an unavoidable and under-reported part of playing football, but researchers are now focusing much more attention on the link between football and complications from head injuries.   For example, recent research has indicated that players as young as seven years of age sustain hits to the head in tackle football that are comparable in magnitude to the blows absorbed by high school and adult players.

NFL players drew national attention to the long-term risks of repeated blows to the head with a lawsuit against the National Football League. Players indicated that many suffer from permanent brain damage and an increased risk of dementia and alleged that the league had hidden the risks.

Now that the risks are well known, participation in football among young people has declined. ESPN reported, for example, that participation in Pop Warner Football went down almost 10 percent between 2010 and 2012.

Pop Warner and other youth leagues are also spending millions to introduce certification programs for coaches to make sure that kids are taught proper techniques to reduce head injury risks.  Some youth leagues are also bringing on medical professionals to provide care to young people who got hurt during a game and laws in all 50 states now require players to be taken out of a game if they may have a concussion.

As certification becomes the standard, schools and leagues that do not take these steps to protect players may find themselves considered negligent. This could result in the potential for increased liability.

Even teaching coaches about the risks, however, may not be enough to ensure that devastating brain injuries do not occur. Many more school districts and youth leagues are likely to follow the example of the Texas town that made the change to flag football, especially since after seeing that parents supported the effort to keep their kids safe.

Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle & Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030 or visit