You probably already realize the dangers of texting and driving and the distractions it can cause, but did you know that traveling with an unrestrained pet can be just as dangerous? A 2019 poll performed by the Volvo Car Corporation notes that driver distractions due to pet actions doubled when the animals traveled unrestrained when compared to confined animals.
While driving with your pet is sometimes a necessity, you can reduce the risk of a distraction-related crash by understanding a few risks associated with this activity.
1. Driving errors
Trying to handle or correct an unrestrained pet while driving could cause you to make a driving error you might not make otherwise. This can include failing to brake on time or drifting into another lane. Both of these errors could result in a serious crash and severe injuries.
2. Loss of control
When your dog or cat is not properly crated for traveling, it could jump in your lap, obstruct the gas and brake pedals or block your vision. Even a momentary loss of control of the vehicle could cause a crash, which could cause both you and your pet catastrophic injuries.
3. Stress that affects driving ability
Driving with a young or untrained animal in your car is a lot like trying to drive with a circus performing in your vehicle. They jump from seat to seat, try to climb on you and cry or bark. This can raise your stress levels, which may interfere with your ability to correctly operate your vehicle.
Your pet’s stress and discomfort levels may also rise during travel if they have nowhere to feel safe. Crating or leashing your pet and allowing a passenger to handle them can greatly increase the odds of you and your beloved companion reaching your destination safely.