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Safe Driving in Atlanta with Pets

As a dog lover myself, I always love it when I see motorists driving around with their dog in the car. I don’t like it as much when I see that some of these dogs are not restrained, are moving about the cabin, or trying to jump out the window. Not only are these dogs at a serious risk of injury when they are engaged in such behavior, but they are also creating a serious distraction for the driver. A new survey by the American Automobile Association finds that one in three drivers who drives with their pets in the car, is distracted by the animal.

Dogs can cause a number of distractions. It your dog is moving about the cabin, or is restless, or trying to jump out of a moving vehicle, you will find yourself with one hand on the steering wheel, and the other trying to restrain him. If your dog is barking nonstop, you will find it hard to concentrate on the road. Worse, I sometimes see motorists driving with little dogs on their laps. This is dangerously distracting behavior, and if you were a true dog lover, you wouldn’t be putting your dog and yourself to such risk.

Here are just a few of the options that you have to restrain your dog and prevent him from becoming a distraction while you’re driving.
• If you have a large car, use a crate to restrain your dog.
• Small dogs can be restrained in dog booster seats or dog carriers.
• There are a variety of seat belt models that can restrain your dog safely and comfortably.
• Physical barriers are designed for use in larger vehicles like SUVs. These can be made of metal or mesh, although the metal ones are sturdier.

Failing to properly restrain your pet in the car is a violation of the basic Georgia traffic laws, which are:


  1. Obey traffic control devices (lights and signs);
  2. Obey the traffic directions of a law enforcement officer or firefighter, even if it goes against what the traffic control devices tell you to do;
  3. Never drive on a roadway that has been closed for construction, for the purpose of a special event, or for any other official reason.

There are many devices out there, and a simple look around should make it easy for you to secure your dog while you’re driving, so that you can comply with the basic traffic laws of Georgia and not be operating your car in an unsafe and negligent manner.

In fact, experts say that the kind of distractions caused by Buddy in the car, are almost the same as the distractions caused by texting while driving. However, while texting while driving has received nationwide attention, not too many people pay attention to the distraction caused by pets.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured in a car accident and would like quality legal representation, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.

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