Opinion: Stop Driving With Your Dogs in Your Lap


opinion stop driving with your dogs in your lap

If you see something, say something. That’s what they say.

Well, I’ve seen something problematic lately, and now I feel like it’s time to use this platform to put a PSA out into the world.

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend over the past few months. I’ve seen far too many people here in Chicago with a pooch perched in their lap while driving.

Yes, yes, I know — anecdotal evidence I’ve noticed in a small slice of the world does not a trend make. So I won’t claim this is some troubling trend. But I will say that this is one of those things that no one should be doing at all.

I feel like this shouldn’t even have to be said, but alas, we live in a world where it apparently does. You shouldn’t have your pet IN YOUR LAP WHILE YOU OPERATE A MULTI-TON VEHICLE.

A dog or cat on your lap can distract you and cause an accident. If you do get in a collision with a pet on your lap, your poor pooch could suffer serious injuries or death from the steering wheel and/or airbag.

I know, I know, people think they’re invincible or the bad thing will happen to someone else. “I can send a text, I won’t crash.” “I had one too many drinks but I won’t hit someone”. I am sure these people are probably aware of what could happen but simply believe it won’t.

And maybe they’ll be lucky and it won’t. I certainly don’t want them or their pet to be hurt. But it just seems too risky to me.

Especially since there are all sorts of devices on the market that can keep a dog in place in a passenger seat — probably a rear seat, I suspect dogs are too small to handle it if the passenger airbag goes off.

I like dogs. I’d own one if not for some logistical reasons related to where I live (it’s easier for me to be a cat person right now). And despite my better judgment, I like people. I don’t want to see either animal or person hurt.

So please, people, don’t let your canine (or feline) sit on your lap while you drive. It’s not smart.

Yes, today’s rant is shorter than usual. That’s because there doesn’t need to be a lot of words said to encourage you to keep Fido properly placed in your car.

So I will shut up now and save my next thousand-word screed for another topic. Til then, keep your damn pet — and you — safe by using some common sense.

[Image: evrymmnt/Shutterstock.com]

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