5 Potential Risks of Driving With Your Pets On Board

Photo Courtesy of Hillary Hartley/Flickr
Photo Courtesy of Hillary Hartley/Flickr

Driving, it itself, is a complicated process. Your eyes have to be scanning for potential problems, keeping tabs on the cars in front of, behind and beside you, calculating distance with our eyes, etc.. The list goes on and on. Just because we do it every day and mostly without incident does not mean that we can introduce another factor without risks. It may seem like a good idea to let your dog ride with you in the front seat, or in your lap, but there are plenty of problems that can arise from it. Here are 5 risks that you put yourself in danger of every time you let man’s best friend ride along.

1. Distraction

Your dog has no idea how to drive and they know nothing of the attention and concentration it takes to maneuver through traffic. They will jump in your lap, bark at passing motorists or jump from seat to seat, all causing you to take your eyes off the road, even for a split second. Which could be tragic.

2. Airbag deployment

There’s a reason we do not recommend having children in the front seat. The same goes for dogs. It’s the airbag and it could cause serious injuries or death in the event of an accident that causes them to be deployed. Being an animal lover, I don’t even like to think of this scenario.

3. Rescue Aversion

If you are in an accident and you’ve got your pooch with you, you run the risk of stalling rescue efforts. Accidents are a high-stress event and if your dog is trapped in the vehicle with you , it may retaliate and attempt to bite anyone coming to rescue you.

4. Tickets

Many states have laws in the books for allowing your pet to roam around the car, unrestrained. If you let your dog sit on your lap, stick its head out the window or roam around the bed of your truck, you could very easily get pulled over and handed a hefty fine. Play it safe, keep them restrained.

5. Stepping On Power Window Switch

I’ve seen this one firsthand! In the days of the crank windows, this was not a problem, but now with just about every car manufactured, your windows can be activated by the push of a button. While you’re headed down the highway, your dog could easily figure out that button and if that happens, it could be extremely dangerous. Always be sure your child locks and window locks are activated to eliminate that problem.