Dogs + Drivers = Distraction + Death

dogs and driving, driving distraction, dogs in cards, avoid medical errorsAre you and your dog going on your last ride? Your dog can go flying into the dashboard or windshield if you are in a car accident. This very real risk led an insurance company in New Jersey to announce a benefit policy for pets that are injured or killed in a collision. Chubb Insurance will pay up to $2000 for pets for treatment, boarding or replacement. The policy applies to all domestic pets, including those pulled in trailers.

An American Automobile Association survey in 2010 showed that 80 percent of drivers take their dogs for car rides. 21% of them hold the dogs on their laps while driving. 55% of them pet them while in motion. Only 17% used some type of pet restraint.

Imagine a driver who is in the middle of negotiating a tricky turn when his dog gives him a sloppy kiss on the face. Imagine an irritable dog who nips the driver on her face. Imagine a driver who stops short and the dog sails through the bucket seats to smash into the dashboard. Imagine a nervous cat prowling around the brake and accelerator pedals. Imagine reaching to pet a dog and missing seeing the light turn red.
If you have to take your pet along, use a restraint. You and your dog could be going for your last ride.

Read the AAA report on Distractions while driving Look for pet harnesses at this site.

Source: PIP (Personal Injury Protection) for Pups, New Jersey Law Journal February 28, 2011, page 3

Pat Iyer is president of Avoid Medical Errors. We know that if you use safe practices in your life, you reduce your risk of injury. And you reduce your exposure to the healthcare system, where errors occur.

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