Do you have a pet? Do you drive around your neighborhood and freeway with it? Well, if you do, you are creating a car accident hazard. In America, more than 43 million homes have a pet. More than 80% of those drive without any safety restraints. Only 16% use adequate safety restraints while driving. It does not matter if you are making a quick run to the store. Or if you are going on a road trip. The duration of your drive does not change the fact that you have an increased likelihood of a crash. This is not to say that you should never drive with a pet. Rather, you should learn how to drive with a pet safely.
Forms of distractions caused by driving with a pet
You may be still wondering, how does this have anything to do with an increased likelihood of car accidents. Here are some more shocking statistics. 60% of pet owners were distracted by their pets while driving. How can you get distracted by your pet, you may ask. More than 50% of dog owners admitted they pet their dog while driving. A smaller percentage allow their pets to sit on their laps while driving. Others give their pets food and treats. Although a small percentage, 4% of pet owners played with their pet while behind the wheel. All of this creates an extremely dangerous situation. It significantly increases your probability of a car crash, sometimes even death. It also affects your pet significantly.
The correlation between pets and car accidents
There is a positive correlation between driving with a pet and the chances of a car accident. This does not mean that if you have a pet in your car, you are positively likely to be in a crash. No. There is a very important piece to this: safety. There are lots of ways by which you and your pet can stay safe while driving. If you take the necessary safety measures, that correlation no longer withstands.
In one year, there is an average of 5,500,000 crashes. These crashed leave more than 20,000 dead and almost another million injured. If 34.4 million households have pets, and 80% of those drive with a pet, chances are some of those accidents involved a pet.
Safety Measures for driving with a pet
It is important to understand that safety measures are not in place to protect your pet. But also to protect you and other people sharing the road with you. In addition to driving carefully and avoiding high speeds, there are more specific measures. DO NOT drive with a loose pet. You must restrain your pet before you drive. This includes driving to the store close by. If your pet does not like being restrained, then leave him/her at home. So your options are to restrain your pet or to leave your pet at home. Restraining means the following: A pet car seat or a basket holder for smaller pets; and a hard or soft sided crate.
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