Social Question

prescottman2008's avatar

Do you think driving with a dog on your lap is both stupid and dangerous?

Asked by prescottman2008 (775 points ) June 11th, 2010

This is becoming more and more common everyday it seems. I remember it wasn’t too long ago that it would even elicit an “OMG what an idiot!” but now it seems as many as 1 in 10 people on the road are hauling their dog, or cat, or bird, or even iguana around on their lap, head or shoulder while driving. I’ve even seen a few people who had multiple dogs in the front seat leaning out the window on their side while driving. If banning cell phone use while driving is gaining momentum this practice should definitely be outlawed!

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14 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

Around here, there are usually so many dogs stuffed into SUV’s or trucks, that one gets the impression that the dogs are driving.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’d give it three negatives, stupid, dangerous, and illegal.

Nullo's avatar

Not really. I used to do it quite a bit, and she never impaired my driving.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@gailcalled The dogs probably do a better job than some of their owners.

john65pennington's avatar

I consider having a dog in the drivers lap the same as talking on a cellphone. the dog, cat or whatever, is a distraction to the driver and a safety hazard to the other vehicles on the road.

MissA's avatar

I say let ‘em wear seat belts like the rest of us.

Pandora's avatar

I taught my dog to ride in the back. I can understand that some dogs take time to adjust and some people feel sorry for making them shiver through the ride but you can always put them in a kennel in the back, Just be sure to put some rubber stickies or maybe a rubber bath matt so they don’t slide and feel uncomfortable. You can also strap the carrier down so it doesn’t shift. Having them on ones lap is also dangerous for the dog. If you so much as tap another car and your airbag deploys than you can say good bye to your pet.

prescottman2008's avatar

I don’t own a dog and haven’t owned a dog for many years. When I was young it was so seldom that our dogs rode in the car that they cowered on the floor in the back seat the entire time and bolted from the car as soon as the door opened. Of course the only time they rode in the car was to take them to the vet so they figured out it wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience. While researching this phenomenon I came across a news story of a dog being crushed by the air-bag in a traffic accident. Remember that up until a few years ago short statured people were cautioned about air-bags causing decapitations in some situations. Imagine the affect of that kind of air-bag on your dog.

Pandora's avatar

@prescottman2008 Yep, my point exactly. The dog is usually right up against the wheel. Even if it doesn’t decapitate the dog it could deliver such a blow that it will suffer from internal injuries and die. Maybe even linger in pain for a while before it dies. People are not thinking about their pet or other people on the road.

Pandora's avatar

Oh, I found this article about dogs being a projectile object when unrestrained in a car. http://www.merrynjose.com/artman/publish/article_583.shtml

partyparty's avatar

This is totally irresponsible and dangerous. If you take your dog in the car, put it in the back seat with a dog guard between the front and back seats of the car.
The owners ought to be heavily fined and perhaps banned from keeping animals.

cookieman's avatar

Yup. Silly idea.

My pooch sleeps on the passenger seat.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

It’s not a good idea and I used to do it so I know how skitchy it can get with the little critter moving between you and the steering wheel. When a niece of mine got into an accident while her dog was riding on her lap then I stopped driving with my own.

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