Millions of Americans recognize that dogs are wonderful companions and bring their favorite furry friend along on road trips, day trips and even day-to-day errands. However, in a vehicle this can mean added
distractions for the driver. A recent survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo asked
dog owners how often they drive with their dog and about their habits behind
the wheel. The survey found that drivers not only love to bring Fido along, but
they also often engage in risky behaviors when man's best friend is along for
Thirty-one percent of respondents admit to being distracted by their dog while driving; however 59 percent have participated in at least one distracting behavior while driving with their dog. More than half (55
percent) have pet their dog while driving, and one in five allowed their dog to
sit in their lap (21 percent). Other distracting behaviors drivers admitted to
include giving food and water to their dog (seven percent) and playing with
their dog (five percent). These behaviors can distract the driver and increase
the risk of a crash. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that looking
away from the road for only two seconds doubles your risk of being in a crash.
An overwhelming 80 percent of respondents stated that they have driven with their pets on a variety of car trips including day trips, local errands and leisure trips, the pet store, dog parks and to work. However
only 17 percent use any form of pet restraint system when driving with their
dog. Use of a pet restraint system, such as those available from Kurgo, can aid
in limiting distractions and help protect your pet.
"Restraining your pet when driving can not only help protect your pet, but you and other passengers in your vehicle as well," cautioned Beth Mosher, AAA Director of Public Affairs. "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. Imagine the devastation that can cause to your pet and
anyone in the vehicle in its path."
There are a variety of reasonably priced products available to help dog owners reduce distractions their pets might cause while driving while keeping them safe. There have been many recent innovations in this market
from Kurgo and others to make these products more comfortable for the dog and
convenient to use for the owner. AAA recommends owners utilize a restraint
system anytime they are driving with their pet—even close to home.
Pet restraint products, such as those from Kurgo, are available at local pet stores nationwide. To find a dealer near you, visit Kurgo.com.