Don’t let Fido distract you from driving
If trying to text or take a call on your mobile sounds like it’s a potential distraction when driving, imagine having a dog trying to get comfortable on your lap while you’re at the wheel.
Sounds insane, doesn’t it? But a new survey in America by Carinsurance.com suggests that of the 72 per cent of drivers overall who travel with their pets on board, more than a third of them allow whatever critter is in the car to be on their laps.
Little wonder, then, that 14 per cent of the pet-owning respondents said they’d had either a ‘near-miss’ or full-on accident as a direct result of some animal-related in-car distraction. And let’s have no misogynistic statements here, as nearly 43 per cent of men let pets on their laps in cars, compared to just 29 per cent of women.
Further, only a third of pet owners admit to regularly using restraints on their pets if they’re in the passenger compartment – and, as dog owners ourselves, trust us, that’s just madness.
The vast majority of this mobile menagerie are dogs (four out of five respondents were canine-lovers), while a mere 13 per cent ride with either dogs or cats, and just six per cent with cats only (see, we knew dogs were better). Brilliantly, there’s a one per cent madhouse minority who travel with such wonderful companions as parrots, parakeets, rabbits, ferrets and even fish…
Imagine explaining that to a Garda from the traffic corps: “Yes, I’m very sorry, I was just trying to sprinkle some dried flakes into the goldfish tank when I looked back at the road and saw stationary traffic ahead. Terribly sorry.”