Collision Analysis

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September 23, 2016

Pets and Airbags

We’ve probably all heard warnings that drivers should not allow their pets to ride in their laps. While the focus of distracted driving campaigns has been on cell phone usage, particularly texting, anything that takes the driver’s attention away from the road is potentially a hazard.  Certainly an energetic lap dog would qualify as a distraction.

An unfortunate incident in British Columbia has brought to light another reason to keep animals out of laps while driving.  Police report that a family dog was in the driver’s lap when a collision occurred, causing the frontal airbags to deploy.  There were no reported injuries to the driver or passengers; however, the deploying airbag critically injured the small lap dog, which sustained significant internal injuries.

Airbags are best at reducing injuries to properly belted occupants.  Even today’s advanced airbags deploy with a great amount of force, which is why it is still recommended that children be seated in the rear, away from frontal airbags, whenever possible.  The same advice applies to pets.

The full story can be found here.

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