Don't Dog and Drive


by Mary Grace Mauney

I love seeing dogs, no matter where they are. It makes my day when I’m driving and I go by a car with a cute pup in it. But you know what’s not cute? Compromising the safety of a dog or other pet. I passed a car this morning and saw that the driver had their little dog in their lap—bad idea! A dog in your lap is a distraction, just like texting, talking on the phone, applying makeup, or anything else you shouldn’t be doing while driving a car. And for those who think that this doesn’t apply to them, that their dog just sits calmly, that they’re not distracted by the animal at all…what about OTHER people? Even the safest driver in the world can be in a car accident due to the error of another driver, and no one is immune to that. And if that happens, the pet can either become a projectile, resulting not only in its injury or death but that of other people in the car, or it can be crushed by the driver or a passenger who is thrown forward in the collision. The same applies to any animal that is in the car unrestrained.

And even if the animal is miraculously unhurt by the crash, they will certainly be panicked and scared. This can cause them to flee the crashed car in fear, becoming lost, or they may become aggressively protective of their owners and impede rescue workers from helping them.

Please, if you plan on taking your pet for a drive, no matter how short, look into getting a container or harness that can be belted into the car. This goes for dogs, cats, small pets, and any other animal you might take with you in a standard vehicle. It could save their life AND yours!