CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – They may be cute and cuddly but driving with your dog on your lap could cost you. Not only is it dangerous but it’s illegal.
“If you do have your dog on your lap and you’re driving around it is impeded operation, an officer can pull you over for that, can issue you a citation. More importantly than that, if you were ever involved in a crash, your pets not going to survive being on your lap with the airbags and the force going forward so we tell people don’t do that,” said Chicopee Police Officer Mike Wilk.
A slam on the brakes at 30 miles per hour means a 50 pound dog could lunge forward with the force equivalent of being pushed by nearly 9 170 pond men according to researchers at MSPCA.
Don’t worry that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your furry friend in the car with you. Jacob from the good dog spot in Chicopee recommends you get a doggie seat belt.
“The passenger’s seat is ok if the airbag is off but normally we recommend them sitting in the back with a buckle like this that can be attached through the seat belt so they have a little bit of protection, they’re grounded. Definitely in the back seat,” said Jacob McCarty of The Good Dog Spot.
There’s also options like a hammock for your dog that hooks on to the head rests and prevents your dog from jumping in the front seat.
According to a AAA survey nearly 60 percent of people have driven with their pets and more than 30 percent said it can be distracting.