Dog Owners and their Driving Habits Revealed

March 7, 2019

Dog owners are always proud of their pets and love to flaunt them, whenever they get an opportunity. It wouldn’t surprise you to find such people walking their dogs in malls, supermarkets, parks or just around the city. There isn’t much of a problem with doing this, after all, it’s their way of having fun. The problem comes when they have to travel with their dogs in their cars. The manner in which they handle these dogs matters a lot in terms of their safety and those of other road users.

All car leasing companies require that you declare whether you will be carrying a pet and what kind of a pet it would be. If it is a dog or dogs, they will give you their requirements as well as limitations of what you can and can’t do when driving with your pet in the car. This information also determines the type of vehicle that you can hire.

Let’s look at some of the statistics regarding drivers’ behavior and their dogs. There are approximately 78 million dogs living in the United States of America (USA). According to a survey carried out by American Automobile Association (AAA) and Kurgo, a company that manufactures pet products, 60% percent of all dog owners travel with their pets at least once every month. A high number of these drivers travel with their dogs while unrestrained.

The kind of behavior exhibited by these drivers is risky to themselves and their dogs as well as to other road users. Of the respondents interviewed, 23 percent confessed that they used their arms or rather hands to hold their dogs in place when applying brakes. Another 19 percent said that they use their arm to restrain their dogs from jumping into the front seat while another 17 percent said that they drive with their dogs on their laps. Not every driver is careless though. At least 16 percent said they used dog restraint while driving.

Risk Factors

Allowing dogs or any other pet for that matter to ride in your car unrestrained is extremely dangerous and can have you arrested and fined. If you think a pet is just as harmless as it looks, well, you should think again. Jennifer Huebner-Davidson the national traffic and safety programs manager gives some staggering statistics. According to a report from AAA, a small dog, just 10 pounds, can exert pressure of 300 pounds in case of a crash while driving at just 30 miles per hour. An 80-pound dog at the same speed will exert a pressure of 2,400 pounds.

Such pressure would have devastating or even fatal, not only to the dog, but to anything that the dog finds in its path, including the passengers in your car.

It is recommended that you have your dogs restrained in their seats or in the car trunk. Dogs are just the same as human passengers and need to be fastened to their seats, for their safety and everyone else’s as well.

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