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Top Reasons Why it is Unsafe to Travel with Your Dog in Car

Did you know that 60.2 million households in the U.S. serve as a home to a pet dog [Source: Insurance Information Institute]? According to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, which was conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA), dogs are the most popular pet found in all households in the country followed by cats. Now, if you have opened up your home to one of these furry friends, then it is likely you bring them along with you in the car at certain times. This might include:

  • When you need to take a trip to the local grocer or to a pet store.
  • When you are going on a road trip.
  • When headed to the vet or if you need to make another short distance-trip.
  • If you wish to bring them along for a ride in the car just to get some fresh air.

While it is common for pet owners to bring their dogs with them in the car, it is important to understand the potential risks associated with doing so. According to a 2011 survey conducted by AAA Exchange and Kurgo, driving with a dog can lead to a motorist becoming distracted. Some of the types of behaviors the survey participants admitted to engaging in that caused them to take their attention off the road included:

  • 52% of the respondents said that they would pet their dog while driving.
  • 23% admitted to using “their hands or arms to hold their dog in place when applying the brakes.”
  • 19% claimed that they “used their hands or arms to keep their dog from climbing into the front seat—creating a situation where they had to remove at least one hand from the steering wheel.”
  • 18% stated that they reached into the back to interact with their dog.
  • 17% admitted to allowing their dog to sit in their lap or held their dog.
  • 13% stated that they would give their pet some food or treats while driving.
  • 3% said they have taken a photo of their dog while driving.

Now, given that the number of households that are home to pet dogs has increased from 46 million in 2011 to 60.2 million, it is likely that more individuals are traveling with their dogs and possibly even engaging in the same or similar behaviors described above that could potentially lead to a car crash occurring. The fact is, when you “look away from the road for only two seconds,” you “double your risk of being in a car crash.” And many of the behaviors that pet owners engage in when they allow their dog to travel with them in the car often result in them looking away from the road for this amount of time.

Therefore, if you must travel with your pet, consider implementing these safety tips to avoid driving distracted and increasing your chances of causing a single or multi-vehicle accident.

  1. Use a pet restraint so that your pet is limited to where they can move which will ultimately reduce your chances of getting distracted. Aside, from that, it can help keep them safe as they won’t be thrown around the vehicle if you were to have to make an abrupt stop or turn.
  2. Never let your pet sit in the front seat or on your lap while driving [Source: American Humane].
  3. To help reduce your pet from feeling stressed while going on a long trip, consider bringing them on shorter ones prior to your road trip so that can become more accustomed to traveling in the car.
  4. Don’t allow your pet to stick their head out of the window, especially when traveling on highways as there is a chance a piece of debris could fly up and hit them.
  5. Never transport a dog in the bed of a pickup truck.

I was involved in a distracted driving accident in Jackson, MS? What should I do?

If you are liable for causing the distracted driving accident or partially at fault, you will want to consult with a Jackson, MS accident attorney at the Heilman Law Group, PA to find out what your rights and responsibilities are. Many individuals often assume that because they were engaging in behavior that distracted their attention away from the road that they are fully accountable for the accident. However, there is a chance the other party may have also played a role in causing it to occur which is why it would be in your best interest to have one of our MS car accident lawyers assess your case.

Therefore, if you are ready to learn more about your recent car crash as well as what steps you may be required to take to recover compensation for the damage it caused, contact our office now by calling 601-914-1025.

The Heilman Law Group, PA can be reached at:
42661 I-55 North, Suite 106
Jackson, MS 39211

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  • Jackson Office
    4266 I-55 North
    Suite 106
    Jackson, Mississippi 39211
    Phone: 601-914-1025
    Fax: 601-944-2915
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