We all know by now that most states, including Texas, require all individual passengers in a moving vehicle to wear a seatbelt. Texas statute §545.413 mandates this and even allows a judge to sentence a Texas passenger who is not wearing a seatbelt to take a course on seatbelts. However, it is less common to hear of issues, or for that matter, laws that mandate that pets be restrained in a moving vehicle. One pet owner who is a self professed responsible pet parent did restrain her two pet dogs while driving them in her vehicle. That day, she happened to crash into another vehicle. Her pets were not injured and she believes the lack of injuries was due to the pet restraints. A pet safety advocacy organization called Bark Buckle Up is trying to get their message across the nation including Texas: restrain your pets when traveling. According to ksat.com, the founder of Bark Buckle Up, Christina Selter, has cited many important reasons for restraining your pet while you are driving, including preventing the pet from distracting the driver and of course the pet’s safety. But one less obvious reason seems important as well. When pets are in accident and scared they may act out and become aggressive, preventing first responders from giving their full attention to the injured individuals. Further, Selter explains that “[i]n an accident, an unrestrained animal is dangerous to the human passengers as well. Even in an accident of only 30 mph, a 15-pound child can cause an impact of more than 300 pounds. A 60-pound dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, a windshield, or another passenger.” If you have been injured in a car accident, you should contact a New Braunfels personal injury attorney who is experienced in dealing with unusual situations.
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