รายงานการศึกษาเรื่องนี้ครั้งแรกพบสาเหตุว่าการพาสัตว์เลี้ยง แสนรักไปเที่ยวด้วยชวนให้เสียสมาธิได้ง่ายๆ เนื่องด้วยสัตว์เหล่านี้ ไม่ได้นั่งอยู่เฉย จะเคลื่อนไหวกระดุกกระดิกตัวไปมาอยู่เรื่อยๆ เป็นเหตุให้เจ้าของต้องละสายตาจากถนนมาคอยจับตาดูบ่อยๆ
ผลการศึกษายังเปิดเผยให้ทราบข้อเท็จจริงอย่างหนึ่งว่า ผู้อาวุโสที่ชอบพาสัตว์เลี้ยงนั่งรถไปไหนมาไหนด้วยเป็นประจำ จะต้องเสี่ยงกับการเกิดอุบัติเหตุ มากกว่าคนวัยเดียวกันที่ขับรถแต่โดยลำพังถึง 2 เท่า.
May 2, 2013 — Senior drivers who always take a pet in the car are at increased risk for being involved in a motor vehicle collision, said University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers. In a study published in Accident Analysis and Prevention on May 2, 2013, the research team said both overall and at-fault crash rates for drivers 70 years of age or older were higher for those whose pet habitually rode with them.
s to enact legislation controlling their use. Currently Hawaii is the only state that specifically restricts drivers from having a pet in the lap. Arizona, Connecticut and Maine have broader laws restricting behavior or activities that could potentially distract a driver; such laws could be applicable to pets in a vehicle.
“There is no direct evidence that driving with pets is or is not a threat to public safety, however, indirect evidence exists based on distracted driving research on texting, eating or interacting with electronics or even other passengers,” said McGwin. “And there are certainly anecdotal reports in the news media of crashes and even fatalities caused by drivers distracted by a pet in the vehicle.”
The authors suggest that when confronted with an increased cognitive or physical workload while driving, elderly drivers have exhibited slower cognitive performance and delayed response times in comparison to younger age groups.
“Adding another distracting element, especially an active, potentially moving animal, provides more opportunity for an older driver to respond to a driving situation in a less than satisfactory way,” said McGwin. “Regulations in this
area might be warranted, particularly if our findings are replicated by others.”
The study, conducted in the Clinical Research Unit in the UAB Department of Ophthalmology, enrolled 2,000 community-dwelling (those who do not live in assisted living or nursing homes) licensed drivers age 70 and older, of whom 691 had pets. Study subjects took a survey on driving habits, and those with pets were asked about the frequency of driving with pets. Participants also underwent visual sensory and higher-order visual processing testing.
The crash risk for drivers who always drove with their pets was double that of drivers who never drove with a pet, while crash rates for those who sometimes or rarely drove with pets were consistent with the rates for non-pet owners.
More than half the pet owners said they took their pet with them in the car at least occasionally, usually riding on the front passenger seat or in the back seat.
“That is 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,” said McGwin. “And it’s interesting to note that earlier surveys indicate that 83 percent of those surveyed agreed that an unrestrained dog was likely dangerous in a moving vehicle, yet only 16 percent have ever used any type of restraint on their own pet.”
Given the current debate about all types of distracted driving, the study authors suggest that further study of pet-related distracted driving behaviors among older drivers, as well as younger populations, with respect to driver safety and performance is warranted to appropriately inform the need for policy regulation on this issue.
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by University of Alabama at Birmingham. The original article was written by Bob Shepard.
SOURCE : www.sciencedaily.com