Under New Jersey law, a motorist driving with an unrestrained pet in the car may be fined. This summer, as more New Jersey residents embark on vacations and family trips, the number of motorists driving with their pets will likely increase. State officials are reminding people about the law, and warning them to keep their pets safely restrained in the car while they are driving.
Much of the focus on distracted driving is centered on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. However, unrestrained pets can also take a motorist's attention away from the road. Unrestrained pets wander about the vehicle, bark, block views out the side or rear windows and cause other distractions. Therefore, under New Jersey law, animals must be restrained, in pet carriers, dog booster seats and other devices.
In spite of laws that ban motorists from driving with unrestrained pets in the car, New Jersey personal injury lawyers frequently observe pets with their head out of the window of the car, and motorists driving with dogs on their laps. Such actions increase the risk of distractions for a driver. A responsible pet owner will always ensure that his pet is safe by restraining the pet in a carrier or booster seat.
Surveys by the AAA have found that too many people are negligent about driving safely with pets in the car. Approximately 20% of respondents in an AAA survey admitted that they permit their dog to sit on their lap while they are driving while 31% said that they were distracted by their dog while they were driving.
The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Helmer Paul Conley and Kasselman represent persons injured by the negligence of others across New Jersey.