US: survey shows motorists endanger both their pets and themselves image

Distracted driving is a major cause of concern all around the world, being a leading accident cause in the US and other parts of the world. That includes texting, numerous awkward activities such as putting on makeup and having an animal in the car.

That’s because a recent Consumer Pulse survey by AAA, initiated in April just ahead of the summer road-trip season, has shown no less than 50 percent of the surveyed drivers have rarely or never restrained their pet in the vehicle while driving. The reasons are also a mouthful, ranging from “pet doesn’t like crate” to “restraints are too complicated” to – believe it or not – “pet prefers to sit in my lap.” No less than 22 percent of pet owners allow their animal friend allow the latter to sit between them and the wheel even when the vehicle is moving. What’s worse, almost 20 percent of them have fed or watered the accompanying animals while in motion and more than one in ten have even took a picture of the pet while driving the car or truck.

That’s even as most experts consider the safest mode to drive with animals is to have the pets restrained – safer for them and for the driver as well. That’s because our pet can easily turn into a fully fledged, albeit furred, projectile when it has to obey the inextricable laws of physics and keeps moving when the vehicle comes to an abrupt stop. “An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert 2,400 pounds of pressure,” shows a frightening AAA fact sheet.