I was recently driving from Arizona to Los Angeles and when I pulled into a rest stop for gas, I noticed the car next to me had two small dogs jumping up and down on the driver as he pulled away, and I thought to myself this is a disaster waiting to happen.
According to the Automobile Club Of America, two-thirds of drivers said they routinely drive while petting or playing with their dogs while maneuvering through traffic. For many years, I have been trying to educate drivers to the dangers of driving with their pets unsecured by a doggie seatbelt, pet carseat or carrier. It is very dangerous and risky for both the passenger and the dog — for example, did you know that an 80-pound dog unrestrained during an accident at just 30 mph exerts over 2,400 pounds of force in a car? Over 50% of Americans have pets, and according to a AAA spokeswoman, they see this as an increasingly huge problem.
Another problem with unrestrained dogs is at the scene of an accident the dogs become territorial and protective of their owners when first responders try to help the injured occupants. Isn’t it time we had seat-belt laws for dogs?