Are Dogs Driving Us to Distraction?

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According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, a recent study reveals that drivers who ride with dogs are engaging in distracting behaviors. Fifty-two percent of drivers polled admit to petting their dog; eighteen percent  reach into the backseat to pet them; seventeen percent allow their dog to sit on their lap while they drive; and, amazingly, three percent admit to having taken a photo of their dog while driving. No word on how many drivers actually let their dog take the wheel.

The study further reveals that though eighty-three percent of drivers acknowledge the dangers of riding with an unrestrained dog (to both the dog and other passengers) only sixteen percent use a pet-restraint.

Investing in a doggie seatbelt may seem down-right decadent to some, akin to diamond-studded collars or canine shoes, but upon closer inspection the practical usefulness of a pet-restraint becomes obvious. Perhaps you don’t want to treat your pet like a person, but you certainly want to protect her from injury, right? Perhaps one day driving with an unrestrained dog will be nearly as scandalous as driving with an unrestrained infant.

At the very least, can we all agree to pull over for all future canine photo ops?



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