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Dogs and distracted driving – part 1

Distracted driving is a dangerous activity that can result in some very severe auto accidents. There are all different sorts of potential sources of distractions for drivers. Some distraction sources, like cell phones, are ones that pretty much all drivers know can be dangerously distracting. There are other distraction sources, however, that drivers may be less aware of.

One thing that many drivers may not realize can be a source of distraction while driving is man’s best friend. Many dog owners will occasionally have their dog as a passenger when they are out driving. There are certain dangerously distracting things a driver may be tempted to do when their dog is a passenger of their vehicle. Some examples are: play with their dog when driving, feed their dog when driving, give their dog treats when driving, have their dog sit on their lap while they are driving and pet their dog when driving.

In a survey that AAA and a pet products company sponsored, some individuals were asked about their habits regarding driving with their dogs. Well over half of the respondents, 65 percent, had engaged in some sort of distracting behavior in connection to their dog when driving. However, far fewer of the respondents, 29 percent, reported having been distracted from driving by their dog. This discrepancy would seem to indicate that many dog owners may not recognize what sorts of conduct related to their dog can be distracting while driving.

While a dog owner may be loath to view their beloved dog as a potential source of a dangerous driving distraction, it is important for them to recognize that anything that takes their attention away from the task of driving has the potential to be dangerous when they are behind the wheel.

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