Life & Travel > Pet training and behavior > Study Shows Dogs Cause Distracted Driving

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08/06/2011 17:55:46 PM by K.T.Riffic   Send Message to K.T.Riffic  5472  views, category: Pet travel, Pet training and behavior view all blogs

Drivers face tons of distractions on the road. Besides the unavoidable distractions that come with driving on the highway or in town, some are self imposed.

There has been a lot of news coverage about distracted drivers using cell phones to call or text while driving. There are even laws to stop it from happening. However, children and pets can be just as distracting, if not more so, than any other forms of commotion on the road.

Parents know all about this. Children learn to make themselves heard and attended to at a very early age. Crying and screaming can only go on so long before being dealt with. Some children just want to be touched by their parents for comfort, causing the parent to take a hand off the steering wheel to calm their child.

Dogs and other pets can be just as needy. Some pets need the reassurance of their human;s touch in the car to feel safe and secure. Others need a distraction, such as a treat or toy. In each case, drivers need to take at least a hand or an eye off the wheel or road respectively to deal with the situation. It is not always feasible to pull over to the side of the road to do this.

A recent study by the American Automobile Association and pet supply company Kurgo shows that driving a dog around causes distracted driving. While this seems obvious once pointed out, it is not a common distraction drivers think about.

The study, which included 1000 pet owners who drive with their pets in the car at least occasionally,  claims that 52 percent of drivers admit to taking their hands off the wheel or their eyes off the road when their dog is in the car.

Some of the reasons stated for being distracted include to hold the dog in place when coming to a stop, using their arms to keep the dog from climbing into the front seat, giving their dog a treat while driving, and even taking pictures of their pet in the car.

Many of these distractions can be alleviated by installing a pet restraint system in your car. Just as seat belts protect and hold humans, pet restraints protect and hold pets. There are a variety of car restraints for pets. Some are made for tiny tea cup sized pets while others are large enough to accommodate the largest breeds.

Here are a couple of examples:

Pet slings attach to the head rests of most cars and keep the pet safe by creating a sort of nest for them.

Pet seats attach to the backseat of a car and hold smaller pets in place with straps.

Find out about more options by reading

About the author: Kayleigh has always loved animals and has spent time volunteering at the local dog shelter. The love of her life is her four year old Rottweiler, Lizzie. She enjoys writing for since it combines her love of animals with one of her favor... more >>

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