Caution: Dogs behind wheel

dog_in_car.gi.top.jpgWhen riding in a car, dogs should be in the backseat and properly restrained, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. by Peter Valdes-Dapena, senior writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- That darling little pooch riding with you to the grocery store may be cute, but it could actually be a killer.

Dogs in the car can be a hazard to drivers, others on the road and even to the dogs themselves.

One third of dog owners admit that their pets sometimes distract them while they're driving, according to a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey of people who say they have driven with their dog in their car within the past year.

More than half admit to petting the dog while driving. And 21% say they allowed their dog to ride in their lap. A few said they've done things like playing with their dogs or giving their their dogs water, all while driving.

At the same time, fewer than one in five people who have driven with a dog say they use any kind pet restraint.

That can be dangerous for the dog, but also for vehicle occupants and others.

"An unrestrained 10-pound dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert roughly 500 pounds of pressure, while an unrestrained 80-pound dog in a crash at only 30 mph will exert 2,400 pounds of pressure," Jennifer Huebner, AAA National, Traffic Safety Programs manager said in an announcement. "Imagine the devastation that can cause to your pet and anyone in the vehicle."

Front seats are particularly deadly for dogs, restrained or not, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety said. Airbags, which inflate explosively during a crash, can be even more dangerous to a dog than the actual impact itself.

Most dog owners said their pets ride in the back which, according to AAA, is where they should ride. Only 26% say they allow their dog to ride in a front seat. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Find Your Next Car
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,125.87 19.17 0.11%
Nasdaq 4,571.52 0.88 0.02%
S&P 500 2,001.05 1.03 0.05%
Treasuries 2.37 -0.02 -0.75%
Data as of 11:25am ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 16.28 -0.05 -0.31%
Facebook Inc 74.85 -1.11 -1.46%
Apple Inc 101.06 0.17 0.17%
Yahoo! Inc 38.03 0.24 0.63%
Pfizer Inc 29.54 0.32 1.11%
Data as of 11:10am ET

Sections

Standard General, largest investor for troubled electronics retailer, in talks to give RadioShack cash infusion it needs More

If we want to narrow the wealth gap, we need a better path to homeownership for low-income families. More

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 6 in two weeks, but waiting until then to sell your old iPhone means you're way late to the game. More

Utah State professor Michael Glauser cycled 4,000 miles this summer, visiting 100 entrepreneurs across the country. Here's a snapshot of how they grew their businesses. More

Mary Fallon, from Durham, Maine, is a mother of three children, two dogs, 25 chickens and a flock of 22 sheep. Here are journal entries from a day in her life. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.