Can Animals Distract You While Driving?

When we hear the term “distracted driving,” we usually think of the obvious factors – eating, putting on makeup, talking on the phone, texting, or changing ratio stations.  However, few of us consider the driving distraction leaving our furry friends unsecured can cause. In fact, travelling with an unrestrained pet can be a pretty dangerous activity. You can read more on this blog to find out why. Furthermore, if you are concerned about safety, you can purchase auto insurance online. Plus, you can get free quotes from our website. But now, let’s resume our topic about pets and distracted driving.

5-Top-Benefits-of-Car-InsuranceAbout two-thirds of dog owners admit they have engaged in a distracting behavior while driving with their dogs, according to a recent survey from the American Automobile Association (AAA). Many of these canine passengers, about 84 percent, are free to roam the car as they please.

The number of distracted driving crashes caused by pets is huge, around several tens of thousands every year. The exact number is difficult to determine, since authorities require drivers reporting their own behaviors, not the one of pets.

Only about three out of every ten survey participants told AAA they believed their pets distracted them from driving. However, when researchers asked participants about specific behaviors, about 65 percent admitted to one or more of these risky behaviors.
This includes:

  • Petting their companion while driving
  • Allowing the pet to sit in their lap or share their seat
  • Offering treats or feeding their pet while driving
  • Playing with the pet while driving

An unrestrained pet can climb over, under or in between seats, chew or claw on carpets and upholstery, block your view of the road ahead, knock your hands off the steering wheel, or even get under your feet making it impossible to apply the brakes. And these situations can lead to life-threatening collisions.

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