We love our pets, and we love to travel with them in our vehicles, but research shows that traveling with pets increases distracted driving. Distracted driving can lead to vehicle accidents that may require a collision center to get you and your pet back on the road.
According to a survey conducted by AAA and the pet travel product company Kurgo, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they travel with their dogs in the vehicle at least once a month. Survey takers also admitted to being distracted by their dogs and taking their hands off the wheel to tend to them. Over half of the people surveyed said they pet their dogs while driving, and 23 percent admit to using their hands or arms to restrain a pet while applying the brakes. Approximately 17 percent of drivers allow their dogs to ride in their laps, and 18 percent reach into the back seat to interact with their dogs while driving.
When a pet draws the driver’s attention away from the driving task, it causes a dangerous distraction.
Dangers of Roaming Pets
Generally, people put their cats in a travel crate, but dogs roam free. Many dogs hang out a window or even the sunroof, restraint-free. Sudden braking or collision could catapult your loving pup out an open window.
- According to the National Safety Council, over 2.5 million rear-end collisions are reported every year, making them the most common type of automobile accident.
- If a car crashes at a speed of just 25mph, an unrestrained dog can be projected forward at a force equal to 40 times its weight. For example, a large-size dog weighing 75 lbs. can achieve an impact force of 3,000 pounds in a car crash, which could be a lethal blow for both a passenger and the pet.
Keep You and Your Pet Safe
Aside from avoiding distracted driving, you want to keep your pet safe, which ultimately keeps you safe. Here are a few tips:
- Never allow your pet on your lap. One of the most dangerous situations is a driver allowing their dog to ride in their lap. Would you drive with the groceries on your lap? Of course not! Don’t put your dog, yourself, and others in danger.
- Place pets in the second row of seats or the very back. Airbags in the front are not designed to protect pets and airbag deployment could be dangerous for pets.
- Keep your pet from hanging out any window. Dogs love the airflow but keeping them contained inside the car is best for their protection.
- Use products designed for pets when travelling. There are many different options to pick from to help properly and safely restrain your pet.
Pet Travel Accessories
Talking to pet experts, locally owned Feeder’s Supply, they recommended the following to help safely travel with your pet.
Easy Rider Adjustable Dog Car Harness-This easy to use harness comes with extra padding to provide comfort on those long adventures. Your seatbelt easily slides through the loop provided to keep your pup in place. Available in multiple sizes.
Solvit Front Seat Net Pet Barrier-This easy to install barrier allows your pup to lounge and relax in the backseat. Instead of trying to keep your dog from riding shotgun, you will feel like you are driving Ms. Daisy.
Solvit Standard Tagalong Pet Booster Seat-Calling all dogs who enjoy taking the scenic route and feeling the wind in their ears. This seat hooks around your headrest, and the adjustable straps allow the extra boost to be able to see out the window. Worried about your dog hoping out, do not be. The strap inside the seat hooks onto your dog’s collar to keep them safe and secure.
It’s your responsibility to safely restrain your pet and avoid distraction driving. Hope these tips help you and your pet.
This article was produced by Glaser’s Collision Centers