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Old 01-21-2011, 07:47 PM   #1
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Default Do Pets Poise Another Threat To Safe Driving?

Here is an excerpt from a US News item I had on my homepage today:

DO PETS POISE ANOTHER THREAT TO SAFE DRIVING?
By SUE MANNING Associated Press
LOS ANGELES (AP) — "Man's best friend is not a driver's best friend.

While lawmakers have been banning drivers from texting or using cell phones, many motorists are riding around with another dangerous risk — their dogs.

Experts say an unrestrained dog — whether curled up on a lap, hanging out the window or resting its paws on the steering wheel — can be deadly. Tens of thousands of car accidents are believed caused every year by unrestrained pets, though no one has solid numbers.

"An unrestrained pet can be hugely distracting — if he is seeking your attention, putting his face right in front of yours, starts chewing up the upholstery or is vomiting because he is carsick," said Katherine Miller, director of applied science and research for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

The issue is drawing attention in some statehouses. Hawaii is the only state that specifically forbids drivers from operating a vehicle with a pet on their lap. But Oregon lawmakers are considering fining drivers who hold their pets behind the wheel. And some cities are taking action, too.

In 2009, 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 injured in crashes caused by distracted drivers in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Cell phones were the top distraction — the cause of 18 percent of the fatalities and 5 percent of the injury crashes. The agency does not track accidents caused by pets, but said they are counted among other distractions such as disruptive passengers, misbehaving children or drivers who attempt to put on makeup or read."

To read the rest of the article you can find it here: Do pets pose another threat to safe driving? - Mediacom

I occasionally let my dogs ride in my lap and KNOW I should not. It is much safer when I use one of my many carriers or their car seat. They really don't mind either. I am going to make a concentrated effort to ALWAYS use one of the carriers or my car seat for them. Safer for them and safer for the rest of the people on the road too. I sometimes have made the mental excuse that I am just running down the road a bit, quick trip and want to hold them. But since most accidents happen close to home, that is not a good excuse! I would never forgive myself if having one of them on my lap caused an accident that hurt them or others. It is too easy to prevent and I won't take any more chances! I make such a big deal about not using cell phones while driving unless you have a hands free system in use, I need to be just as serious about not driving with the pups loose in the car/on my lap.

Just thought I would put part of the news article on here as a reminder to all of us to be better about driving safely with our pets! If you need a good deal on a pet car seat, there are often amazing savings on CSN Stores in their clearance section. Usually half price! Ebay too has good deals so even the penny pinchers amongst us (like me) cn have a nice, safe car seat for our canine babies too.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:01 PM   #2
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I am very glad this was posted. I was trying to take Suzi , our yorkie to the vet , she had been sick for a few days and feeling lousy. My son was in the back seat holding her. He said something to me , and i automatically turned my head towards the backseat. When I looked up their was a turn, my car went one way ainf the wheels went anther... The car turned, so I reacted , to straightend the car out, however i was going to fast, and we did a circle , with my son screaming in the backseat, i landed in a muddy field with two tires flattened. I was in shock, however, we got out, ok, :ittle Suzi was terrified , shaking ll over badly and ill .
A man with a truck stopped and helped pull the car out of the muddy field. I called my brother, he was there within minutes. My car was towed back into our small town. to the car shop.
Everyone was amazed that I did not roll the car, I was too shaken up to know what really occured, only that i did not slam on the brakes , If done so the car would have for certain rolled over.
It is very easy to become distracted while driving. Suzi was not on my lap, she was in my child's.
Thankfully the car did not suffer any major damage and we were all ok. Suzi made it to the Vet hospital , thanks to my brother driving us .
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mscat View Post
I am very glad this was posted. I was trying to take Suzi , our yorkie to the vet , she had been sick for a few days and feeling lousy. My son was in the back seat holding her. He said something to me , and i automatically turned my head towards the backseat. When I looked up their was a turn, my car went one way ainf the wheels went anther... The car turned, so I reacted , to straightend the car out, however i was going to fast, and we did a circle , with my son screaming in the backseat, i landed in a muddy field with two tires flattened. I was in shock, however, we got out, ok, :ittle Suzi was terrified , shaking ll over badly and ill .
A man with a truck stopped and helped pull the car out of the muddy field. I called my brother, he was there within minutes. My car was towed back into our small town. to the car shop.
Everyone was amazed that I did not roll the car, I was too shaken up to know what really occured, only that i did not slam on the brakes , If done so the car would have for certain rolled over.
It is very easy to become distracted while driving. Suzi was not on my lap, she was in my child's.
Thankfully the car did not suffer any major damage and we were all ok. Suzi made it to the Vet hospital , thanks to my brother driving us .
Thank God everyone is okay! Tires can be fixed or replaced but nothing could replace you, your son, or poor little Suzi! Thanks for sharing such a poignant example of what the article was about. That must have been very frightening -- good thing you knew how to handle the situation. I might have slammed on the breaks and made it all worse.
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:59 PM   #4
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I would say definitely; however, that doesn't keep me from bringing them. But I believe they should be restrained for their safety and everyone's.
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Old 01-22-2011, 07:21 AM   #5
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Great article thank you for sharing.
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Old 01-22-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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There was a family driving through here. They weren't from here and were on the highway. The lady was driving. Their chihuahua jumped into her lap and she had a wreck. She was killed in the accident.
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Old 01-22-2011, 02:46 PM   #7
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Everyone in my family calls me Miss Daisy (ha ha) because I sit in the back seat of our car with with a pet carrier secured on each side of me when we travel. I don't care because I know my babies are somewhat protected. And when I'm driving they are still in their carriers in the back seat. I can check on them when driving by using a childs mirror that attaches to the rearview mirror. It gives me peace of mind and they don't seem to object as long as they are with me.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #8
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In the beginning I would travel with Buster in a carrier secured with a seat belt. He did not enjoy traveling that way. I then got a booster seat and he perked right up. He really enjoys being able to see out the window.
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Old 01-23-2011, 04:19 PM   #9
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I almost had heart failure in the van... I was taking Tinkerbell to the vet and she was unsecured but sitting in the front seat. We came to a red light and she stood up to look out the window, and to my horror the window started going down! I looked over into the next lane and cars were whizzing by... all I could think of was her jumping out into the traffic... she was standing on the electric window controls! And if she moved and it started going up with her head out the window !

I tied her leash onto the seatbelt thingy for the remainder of the trip. When I got home I ordered 4 seatbelt harness restraints that clip right into to seatbelt clips for less than $10 each. All my pups love riding this way now. It prevents them from fighting, and from falling if I have to make a sudden turn or stop. They all ride so much better, and I can drive so much better without the constant worry about where they are, what they're doing, what they found on the floor to eat (DH's Van).
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjc View Post
I almost had heart failure in the van... I was taking Tinkerbell to the vet and she was unsecured but sitting in the front seat. We came to a red light and she stood up to look out the window, and to my horror the window started going down! I looked over into the next lane and cars were whizzing by... all I could think of was her jumping out into the traffic... she was standing on the electric window controls! And if she moved and it started going up with her head out the window !

I tied her leash onto the seatbelt thingy for the remainder of the trip. When I got home I ordered 4 seatbelt harness restraints that clip right into to seatbelt clips for less than $10 each. All my pups love riding this way now. It prevents them from fighting, and from falling if I have to make a sudden turn or stop. They all ride so much better, and I can drive so much better without the constant worry about where they are, what they're doing, what they found on the floor to eat (DH's Van).
I also have my furbabies in seatbelt harness restraints, but my r not too happy about them. I also got the back seat mirror that they use for babies.
My ex had a real bad acciden around 10 yrs ago, and at that time we had a
25 lbs dog , that always sat on his lap, well when the acciden happen the poor dog pee on my ex and she never sat on his lap again, and the cops gave my ex the ticket. Thanks god no one was hurt , but both car were total loss.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:31 PM   #11
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I have mine restrained in their car seats when driving, all except Destiny. On an occasion I will let Destiny lay on my lap when I am driving. Only on a straight stretch and if I tell her to go get in her seat if I need her to she will. I would never dare try it with the others but she is so well behaved. I don't do it very often, just when she is anxious as she will calm down if on my lap. But I prefer for her to be in her car seat buckled in. It's just safer and if I ever got in a wreck she would be much better protected.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:05 PM   #12
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Food for thought. I have to admit Benson will ride in my lap frequently. I'll have to do better about it.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:58 AM   #13
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I'm glad this subject has been posted.....since I have 3 Yorkies that go every where wiht me except for Work w/c is Partime. I make sure that they are NOT left in the Car when it's too Hot or too Cold! They have been Trained to sit still and ride in certain positions. I do NOT have them connected by any kind of Restraints or Seatbelts and they are NOT Crated, but I did take a RED CROSS course for PET CPR. If you are in a Car Accident or if there is a Hurricane or another Natural Disaster, GOD Forbid! The Police & Fire Dept. are not going to take responsiblity for the welfare of your Pet(s). They are supposed to be Muzzled or Crated, with that in mind I always make sure I bring their Harness & Leashes just in case? If they were NOT Trained to ride in the Car I would have them all Crated, whether it's a short or long trip?
I think it depends on the Dogs too.......My Sister had 2 Yorkies, but only one of them could ride in the Car since the other one would get very Car Sick and vomit all over the Car no matter what she did? So sometimes you can't Train them past that!
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Old 01-26-2011, 11:26 AM   #14
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i think it's safer for both the dogs and the driver to have them in a hard box type carrier. if you roll that car over and they are in a hard carrier strapped into the car's seat belt they have a much better chance of staying secure and avoiding injuries. if in a soft carrier or harness it's safter than loose and if in a booster still a better practice than loose. the best practice IMO is the hard carrier for their safety. imagine a loose dog in a car rolling over. they will get ejected or hit their body on all the car that is flying around just like a human body hits the dash and other items or is ejected with no belt. dogs should be restrained somehow for their own and the drivers safety. i admit sometimes i don't follow my own advice, but i really try to for long distance traveling.
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Old 01-26-2011, 04:08 PM   #15
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Thanks for bringing this to everyones attention, i need to work on this with my dogs, they love the car & go everywhere with me. They have dog seats so they can see out but i do not restrain them & they can be distracting. thanks again!!
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