An excited Boxer dog jumped inside the open cab of a Chevy van driven by its owner. The dog somehow caused the accelerator to depress, backing the van into a double metal gate and pinning a 68-year-old man underneath. The man had recently been a passenger of the van and had exited the vehicle to open the metal gates so the van could get in. The accident proved deadly as the man trapped beneath the van was pronounced dead at the scene when paramedics arrived.
While the circumstances of this particular accident are unusual, it is not uncommon for pets to cause car accidents. Driving requires the full attention of an unimpaired driver. According to a Virginia Tech study concerning driver distractions, a driver is faced with an average of 200 decisions per mile driven. An unrestrained dog in the cabin of a vehicle can take a driver’s attention off the road at a critical junction, causing one of more of those decisions to be ignored or made incorrectly.
The driver of the van had opened the driver-side door to spot the man by the metal gate. Unfortunately, that allowed the dog to jump in. The driver was unable to stop the vehicle once the dog hit the gas pedal. The Florida Highway Patrol is still investigating the incident.
Source: NorthEscambia.com, “Dog Blamed For Fatal Cantonment Crash,” 14 January 2013