Distracted driving is a hot topic issue lately. With the rise of texting and driving and the fearlessness of drivers behind the wheel of autonomous vehicles, it is no surprise that distractions are abundant. However, one distraction and cause of New York car accidents is none other than the dog. In fact, dogs can be a serious distraction when in a moving vehicle.

The AAA compiled data on pet travel and over 56% of those subjects admitted to driving with the dog in the car once a month. Then, over half of those admit that they had to turn attention to the pet at some point during the ride. Any distraction from the road can be serious. Accidents occur in an instant. Forbes suggests that nearly a quarter of people who drive with a dog use their hands to stop their pet or hold it in place.

When you take your hands off the steering wheel, you can no longer trust yourself to react in time to any hazards in the road. If an animal or child enters traffic, you may not have time to react. If your dog climbs into the front seat with you, you cannot afford to struggle to remove him or her from the front seat. Some dog owners even allow the dog on their laps while driving.

Dogs do not know the hazards while you are driving, but you can take responsibility for the dog. Experts suggest that you use a pet restraint system to secure your animal in the car.

This is not intended to be legal advice. This is for educational purposes only.