Seniors More Likely to Crash When Driving With Pet

Animals make great companions for senior citizens, but elderly
people who always drive with a pet in the car are far more likely to crash than
those who never drive with a pet, researchers have found. The new study
included 2,000 licensed drivers aged 70 and older. The nearly 700 participants
who had pets were asked how often they drove with their pet in the car. Among
those who always drove with their pets, the crash risk was twice as high as
among those who never drove with their pet. Crash rates for those who sometimes
or rarely drove with pets were about the same as the rates among those who
didn't have pets, according to the study, which was published in a recent issue
of the journal Accident
Analysis and Prevention
. Taking Fido along for the ride was a
fairly common practice among the elderly pet owners, with more than half of
these seniors acknowledging that they took their pet with them in the car at
least occasionally. Pets typically rode on the front passenger seat or in the
back seat, said the researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
The findings are "consistent with previous studies looking at all drivers,
which indicate that slightly more than half of all drivers take a pet with them
at times," study senior author Gerald McGwin, a professor in the
departments of epidemiology, ophthalmology and surgery, said in a university
news release.

Source/more: Health Day

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