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Driving While Distracted—Loose Dogs
New survey reveals the extent of the problem

Oh, this isn’t good. Nearly one in five respondents to AAA/Kurgo survey admitted to taking their hands off the wheel to keep dogs from climbing in the front seat. Fifty-two percent of those who travel with a dog admitted to taking their attention away from the road to pet their dog, and a scary one-quarter used their arms or hands to restrain a dog while applying the brakes.

What difference does it make? 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. And, for an unrestrained dog, a crash can mean serious injury and even death.

This might not be such a big deal if dogs in cars were an infrequent occurrence, but a side effect of our great love affair is that our dogs are in our cars a lot. Fifty-six percent of the respondents to the survey conducted by the venerable Automobile Club of America and the manufacturer of pet travel products (including restraints) said their dogs had been in the car at least once in the past month.

Read more about the report including why people say they travel with unrestrained dogs and the benefits of pet restraints.

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com
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Submitted by Alanna | July 23 2011 |

The Jacks in this pic drew me to read the article, which brought back flashes of me swerving on the interstate trying to manage a Jack jumping around my car! I tried a hammock in the backseat, but they got over and under it and one was in the front seat within minutes. Now they both ride in their kennels in the back seat, held in place by the hammock. They can whine all they want...safety first!

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