A new AAA and Kurgo survey finds that drivers are being distracted by their dogs, increasing the risk of a crash and injuries to both owner and pet.
The survey found that:
- One in five dog owners drive with the pooch on their lap.
- More than half (55 percent) have pet their dog while driving,
- 21 percent allowed their dog to sit in their lap.
- 7 percent admitted to giving food and water to their dog
- 5 percent said they played with their dog
The survey found that about 80 percent have driven with their pets on a variety of car trips, but only 17 percent use any form of pet restraint system.
Jennifer Huebner-Davidson, AAA National, Traffic Safety Programs manager says an unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert 2,400 pounds of pressure.
AAA recommends that dog owners use a restraint system anytime they are driving with their pet-even quick trips. Kurgo makes a variety of pet travel products.
AAA has published a book called "Traveling with Your Pet: The AAA PetBook" that includes pet-friendly AAA Approved property listings and advice on transporting pets.