Americans love their dogs, but can our furry friends lead to distracted driving? A report in Consumer Reports says yes, as a study from AAA and Kurgo shows that 52 percent of dog owners pet their dog when they're in the car with them. Further, 19 percent use their hands to prevent the dog from hopping up to the front seat, and 18 percent reach into the back seat to pet their dog. These statistics, which come from a sampling of 1,000 dog owners, show that a pet can be every bit as distracting as a cell phone or a fast food meal a-la-car.

Beyond distractions like letting the dog sit on the driver's lap while driving, the pet can also be a danger in the event of an accident. The study shows that 83 percent of drivers feel that leaving a pet unrestrained is dangerous, but only 16 percent actually restrain their animal. This can be a big problem in the event of an accident, as statistics show that an unrestrained 80-pound dog involved in a 30-mile-per-hour accident will exert 2,400 pounds of pressure upon impact. In other words, if the dog hits you in a 30-mph accident, he or she could do more harm than the vehicle collision itself.


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  • 19 Comments
      x
      • 3 Years Ago
      How many freaking times have I seen morons driving with a dog in their lap
      Hunter
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yeah, so this is a really big deal - please restrain your dog! As the son of a veterinary orthopedic surgeon, I have seen first hand aftermath of unrestrained dogs in car accidents. Let's just say its not pretty for anyone. We have a MS3 and the dog goes in back with a high-strength barrier net to separate the back (highly recommended). Also, keep your dog's head inside the car! Do you want your dog blinded by flying stones? It's way more common than you would think. Just use some common sense.
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nothing can distract me from how ugly the Insight is.
      Chris
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's 2400 lbs of force, not pressure.
      Hartwig
      • 3 Years Ago
      I see all these studies about distracted driving with Phone Calls, Texting and now Dogs. But the drivers that i see are the most distracted are parents with young kids in the car. I would like to see a study about how distracting it is to drive around with a young child in the car.
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      "an unrestrained 80-pound dog involved in a 30-mile-per-hour accident will exert 2,400 pounds of pressure upon impact." What exactly do you intend to say? A pound is a force, not a pressure. Does the impact have a total force of 2400 lbs or a maximum pressure of 2400 PSI?
        Kumar
        • 3 Years Ago
        @BipDBo
        No need to get upset at AB for copy/pasting stuff that's beyond most of us, but a quick check on the source article would have let you know that. CR probably left off the implied 'square inch'.
      J Joseph Mooney V
      • 3 Years Ago
      You can get a dog harness that attaches to a seatbelt at almost any pet store. It's a regular harness with a big loop on the back. Put the harness on the dog, slip the seatbelt through the loop, and buckle it. Presto! Safe doggie!!
        MachDelta
        • 3 Years Ago
        @J Joseph Mooney V
        There are different styles too. Ours is a padded (on the chest) harness with a ring on the back. The ring is clipped to a short lead that actually has a seat-belt buckle on the other end. It's pretty neat.
      Audidodee
      • 3 Years Ago
      But who needs an airbag when you have a nice, fluffy poodle in your lap while you're driving?
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Absolutely. You'd think that people that love their dogs wouldn't drive with them in their laps or unleashed in the back seat with their tongues out the window. It's bad enough to just put them in the back of the SUV uncaged, but it happens.
      Jarda
      • 3 Years Ago
      sounds like someone needs to prove importance of his office
      Michael H
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any recommendations for a dog seatbelt??? :P
      Kumar
      • 3 Years Ago
      @Autoblog: You make a very convincing argument for people to buckle up too, thanks!
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