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The Dangers Of Driving With A Dog In The Car

The hazards of driving with a dog in the car have increased dramatically over time.  Now more than ever, people are treating their dogs like members of their family. With that, pet parents want to bring their dog along for rides in the car whenever they can.

There’s really no harm in that way of thinking, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make ourselves aware of the hazards that come with driving with our dogs.  Driving with pets can be a danger to us and to them, too.

With the advent of technology, incidences of distracted driving are on the rise.  However, technology isn’t the only distraction. In fact, dogs riding along in the car has become a huge distraction for many drivers resulting in accidents, injuries, and death.

A survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo Pet products indicated that more than eighty percent of people that took the survey take their dogs along as passengers in their cars on a regular basis.  However, less than twenty percent of those same people opted to restrain their dogs as they drove.  Furthermore, almost seventy percent of respondents indicated that they engage their dog in multiple ways that could potentially distract from the task of driving.

The American Humane Society reports that an estimated 100,000 dogs die from riding in truck beds alone each year. And that doesn’t include the dogs that die from jumping out of car windows or dogs who are unsecured in the car during a collision. PetAutoSafety.com reports over 6 million car accidents every year.

A staggering amount of respondents readily admitted to being actively distracted by their dogs.  For example,

  • 52% pet their dog while driving.
  • 2% percent use their arms as a restraint to hold their dog back when they were braking.
  • 19% and 18% respectively said that they use their arms to either block their dog from moving from the front to back sear or reach back to their dog while the dog is in the back seat.
  • Other respondents in slightly lower percentages allowed their dog to sit in their lap, gave them food or treats, took photos of them or even played with them all while driving.

The National Safety Council presents statistics that show just how dangerous being in a car can be for dogs.  There are 2.5 million rear-end collisions every year.  That makes those types of collisions the most common type.  Why is this important? If a car is rear-ended going only 25 miles per hour, a dog that is not restrained can be expected to catapult with a force over 40 times its own weight.  This puts passengers in the car at risk of injury and death if hit by the projected dog as well as putting the dog at risk of being injured or killed.  Think about it.  A little dog weighing ten pounds will equal over 400 pounds of pressure.

The moral of the story is this: use pet restraints when driving.  It could save their life and yours, too.

Here is a list of some of our favorite car restraints for Dogs:

  1. Snoozer Lookout Car Seat
  2. K& H Pet Products Bucket Booster Pet Seat
  3. Krugo Skybox Booster Seat for Dogs 
  4. Solvit Deluxe Tagalong Pet Booster Seat
  5. Pet Gear Carrier & Car Seat for Dogs

There are many restraints on the market.  Options include pet car seats, pet barriers, pet harnesses, and soft and hard travel crates.  With so many to choose from, there’s bound to be one that works for you and your dog.  Don’t be ignorant to the glaringly obvious.  Prepare for the worst and keep your eyes on the road.

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