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?
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.
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.
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