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Texting and Driving – Big No-No; Spot in Your Lap While Driving? Just as Dangerous?

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Party Marty, the cool cat supposedly smarter than the dog in the house: Hey! I came across an interesting article online this week at theweek.com. We all know how dangerous driving and texting can be, but what about those drivers who let their dogs sit on their laps when they drive? That has to be a bit precarious, don’t you think?

According to the source, more than one in five drivers who bring their dogs along for the ride let them climb onto their laps while they drive. While texting has been heralded as the new drunk driving, cruising along with Spot on your lap can be just as dangerous. In fact, two states are considering making it illegal to do so – Rhode Island and Tennessee.

In a 2010 survey conducted by AAA, the results indicated that 21% of drivers who had their dogs in the car with them allowed those dogs on their laps while driving. Seven percent claimed they even fed or gave their dogs water while driving; and five percent confessed to actually playing with their dog while navigating the car. Seriously? Thirty-one percent admitted that having the dogs on their laps did create a distraction. Really?

Did you know that if you have a 10-pound dog unrestrained traveling with you at 50 mph, he can fly forward with 500 pounds of pressure in a crash, and an 80-pound beast going 30 mph in the car can create 2,400 pounds of pressure upon impact? That sounds pretty deadly to me.

While no state prohibits pets in the car, Tennessee and Rhode Island seem to be aggressively pursuing action that would ban an animal from being in one’s life while he or she is operating the vehicle. While fines in Rhode Island will be anywhere from $85.00 to $125.00, in Tennessee, driving with a dog in one’s lap or “between the driver and the driver’s door,” could result in a Class C misdemeanor, along with a $50.00 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

So, where do you think Spot should ride now when in the car? I’m thinking back seat with a restraining device. Safer for all! Don’t worry…we cats are highly independent creatures…we will find our own way to any destination…usually the warm spot near the window!

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