A new study conducted by the University of Alabama-Birmingham revealed that driving with pets increases accident risk, with elderly drivers being the most distracted.
Gerald McGwin, of the University of Alabama, said that the study is the first kind that explores accident rates among elderly drivers with pets.
Drivers over the age of 70 traveling with a pet double their risk of an accident, and those who travel with their pets can easily be distracted.
About 10 percent of traffic accidents are caused by distracted drivers. Many blame cellphones for drivers' distraction, but pet passengers are also a source.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that looking away from the road for more than two seconds is too long.
Many pet owners in the study traveled with their pets in the front seat, which creates an even more distracting situation. Most of them were also unrestrained and able to roam around the vehicle.
The only state in America that bans holding a pet while driving is Hawaii.
It is recommended that those who drive with pets use carriers or crates so the pet will be less distracting.