"Many of us love to bring our dogs along for the ride whether we're road tripping or just running errands. But that adorable pooch next to you may seriously endanger your safety if you don't get smart about how you travel with your pet.
According to a survey of the habits of 1,000 dog owners, released Wednesday by AAA and Kurgo, a maker of pet travel products, two out of three dog owners had driven while distracted by their dog. More than half the drivers admitted to petting their dog while driving. One out of five drove with a dog on their lap and just 17 percent of owners in the study used any kind of pet restraint system.
"Even looking away from the roadway for two seconds can increase your risk of a crash," AAA National Traffic Safety Programs Manager Jennifer Huebner-Davidson told Paw Nation.
In addition to creating distractions, dogs can become hazardous to themselves or others during an accident, Huebner-Davidson said.
In a 30-miles-per-hour accident, a 50-pound dog flying through the air will hit the windshield or another passenger with the force of a 2,400 pound object. Unrestrained dogs are also at risk of running away or attacking emergency responders out of fear, she said.
Animal harnesses or travel crates that hook into the backseat can greatly limit those risks, she said. Bark Buckle Up, a pet travel safety group, offers a list of safe-travel products. Pet-safety advocates also recommend keeping dogs in the back seat because passenger-side airbags can be deadly to a dog during a crash, even if the animal is buckled in.
"We'd like to see dogs buckled up in the backseat, just like children," Huebner-Davidson said. "The word hasn't really gotten out yet that it's important. They are very much a part of our family, and we need to protect them, but also everyone else who is in the vehicle."
In June 2009, two people were killed in a head-on collision when a dog jumped in his owner's lap, causing him to veer his motor home into oncoming traffic.
- In April, a Minnesota man lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a utility pole when his dog started vomiting on him.
- Horror author Stephen King was badly injured in 1999 while walking along the shoulder of a road in Maine, when he was hit by a minivan whose driver was trying to control an unrestrained Rottweiler."
Of course, at this time of year, your dog shouldn't be going anywhere with you in this heat, unless it is a trip to the vet and straight home again. No, stops anywhere for anything, unless it is the dog park, and make sure you have water for you, and for your pet.
"The image of a dog in an oven is disturbing -- but it's making an important point:
Leaving a dog in a car on a hot day can be just as dangerous as putting him in an oven.
That's the message of the new Hot Car/Hot Oven PSA campaign by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. The unsettling posters remind us that leaving a dog in a hot car is not only dangerous -- it's illegal. "
Things have been pretty peaceful around here.
No work getting done, except what I normally do, just piddling around inside the house. Even the cats haven't been on the screen porch lately, just too hot.
Jay has been helping his mother, and Ray's younger brother was killed in a car wreck, so he isn't working right now either.
So it has been a quiet few days.