Colorado drivers are often distracted by their dogs

Posted By elaine on August 18, 2010

    For as long as we’ve had cars, dogs have been going for rides in them, but a new report by AAA of Colorado says that many Coloradoans put themselves and other drivers at risk by driving with their dogs unrestrained.

More than 43% of Colorado households include a canine companion and most of those dogs end up going for car rides, but that can be dangerous because most of the dogs are unrestrained and many even ride in drivers’ laps.

A recent survey conducted by AAA Colorado asked 1000 dog owners how often they drive with their dog and about their habits behind the wheel and this is what they found.

Unrestrained dogs:

Dangerous to themselves and others 80 percent of survey respondents stated that they have driven with their pets. However, only 17 percent use any form of pet restraint system when driving with their dog.

Restraining your pet when driving not only helps protect your pet, but also you and other passengers in your vehicle. According to AAA, an unrestrained 10—pound dog has an effective weight of 500 pounds in a crash at 50 mph, while an unrestrained 80—pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph has an effective weight of 2,400 pounds, striking the vehicle interior or anyone in its path.

Drivers distracted by dogs:

Thirty—one percent of respondents admit to being distracted by their dog while driving, and 59 percent have participated in at least one distracting behavior while driving with their dog. More than half (55 percent) have patted their dog while driving, and one in five allowed their dog to sit in their lap (21 percent). Other distracting behaviors included giving food and water to their dog (7 percent) and playing with their dog (5 percent).

The online AAA study was conducted among a sample of 1,000dog owners who have driven with their dog in the past 12 months

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