Chicago Man Faces Charges after Illinois Car Accident with Unrestrained Dog in Vehicle

Local authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a man from suburban Chicago after he reportedly slammed his vehicle into a tree. That’s not why he’s wanted though, officers believe that the Illinois car accident took the life of his dog, according to the Chicago Tribune. The man is not only facing charges of failing to provide care for his injured pup, but for leaving the scene of an accident and for driving on a suspended license. Local authorities report that a $50,000 arrest warrant is in effect.Our Chicago car accident attorneys have previously talked about the risks of distraction involving pets inside your vehicle. We urge all residents to be careful when transporting animals over the holiday season. We understand that our pets are members of our families too, and are often a part of our holiday gatherings. But please make sure that your pets are properly restrained when driving. Pets can cause deadly accidents on our roadways.

A recently study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, has determined that driving with an unrestrained pup in the car is more dangerous that a lot of people may think, according to Motor Trend. More than 20 percent of the 1,000 drivers who were surveyed by AAA admitted to driving with their pet unrestrained in the vehicle. More than 50 percent of drivers admitted to petting their dog while driving.

Even more alarming statistics regarding pet passengers:

-Nearly 25 percent of drivers admit to using their arm or hand to restrict their dog’s movement when hitting the brakes.

-Nearly 20 percent admitted to using their arms and hands to stop a dog from jumping from the backseat to the front-passenger seat.

-Nearly 20 percent of drivers say that they in fact reach into the backseat of their car to interact with their dog while they’re driving.

-About 17 percent of drivers say that they even allow their dog to sit in their lap or they hold them while driving.

-Almost 15 percent of all drivers admitted to handing over food or doggie treats to their pup while in the vehicle.

-Just about 5 percent confessed to playing with their dog while trying to drive.

-Another 5 percent admitting to taking photos of their dog in the car while driving.

“An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert 2400 pounds of pressure,” said Beth Mosher, AAA Director of Public Affairs.

Drivers are urged to think of their pets as more of a passenger than as a pet when driving in a motor vehicle. Your pup should not only be restrained for their safety, but also to help curb distraction as you navigate through the busy holiday traffic.

If you, a family member or someone you love has been injured in a car collision, the Chicago injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential consultations. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

Additional Resources:

Dogs Contribute to Distracted Driving, AAA Study Finds, by Zach Gale, Motor Trend
More Blog Entries:

NHTSA Releases New 2010 Data for Car Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 9, 2011

Teen Allegedly Causes Five-Car Accident in Chicago and Flees Scene, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, November 30, 2011

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