Don’t Let Your Dog Distract You While Driving

Driving with a furry friend can be a wonderful experience for both the driver and their pet, but it can also be dangerous, especially if the animal is unrestrained. Studies and surveys have shown that allowing a dog to roam in the car leads to much more reckless driving behavior. Why is driving with a dog loose in the car so dangerous, and what can drivers do to mitigate the risks?

Distracted Driving Is Dangerous

When a dog is in the car, it can be irresistible and sometimes necessary to interact with them. However, driving safely requires a person’s full attention. In fact, thousands of people die every year as a result of distracted driving. Interacting with a dog in the car can lead to a driver taking their hands off the steering wheel. It can also make them look away from the road. Both of these behaviors are leading causes of reckless driving that can result in accidents.

A Pup’s Unpredictable Behavior

When a dog is loose in the vehicle its behavior is unpredictable. A dog can suddenly jump onto the driver’s lap. Many dogs stick their head out of the window, and some may not be able to resist the lure of jumping out if they see a squirrel or another dog. These are natural canine behaviors, but they can create distractions both minor and major for a driver. Even just barking or whining can startle a driver and remove their attention from the road.

Tips for Staying Safe With Your Dog on the Road:

  • Use a pet restraint. Using a restraint can reduce the amount of time you spend making sure your dog is safe and behaving well. There are many types of harnesses, crates, and barriers available on the market. Choose one that fits your dog’s size and needs and use it consistently so that they get accustomed to riding with it.
  • Train your dog to behave well in the car. You can do this by taking frequent short trips with them until they get used to traveling in the car. You might reward their calm, quiet behavior with treats.
  • Keep your dog busy. Looking out the window is entertainment enough for many dogs. If your dog needs more to stay occupied, or if you are taking them on a longer trip, you can provide them with a toy or a chew. This can also help reduce any anxiety they may feel.
  • Keep your dog in the backseat. The front seat is not a safe place for your dog. In the event of an accident, an airbag could injure them. Keeping your dog in the backseat helps keep them from your lap and prevents them from interrupting your access to the wheel, pedals, and other car controls.
  • Protect yourself with excellent auto insurance. If you’re looking for great car insurance in Illinois, look no further than SIA Insurance Group. We provide top-rate coverage at the best rates. Call us at 630-325-4000 to speak with us today.
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