My Pet Peeve: animals in the driver's lap

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Posted 2/12/2013 by peanutlover in NSBR Board
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peanutlover
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:29:58 PM
I see this all the time. The driver "holding" a pet (usually a dog) while driving a car. I find it so dangerous (and kind of silly). If you can't let your pet go for 30 minutes to drive somewhere (and endangering those around you), what are you going to do if you have an accident? That animal is not secured and there is a steering wheel in the way.

To me its as bad as texting. I think it should be against the law. Your pet should be secured in your car. NOT in your ARMS while you are driving.

luckywife
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:40:51 PM
I've always wondered about this...wouldn't the pet be safer if he/she was secured somehow? I would think in an accident, it would be very dangerous for the pet, either being thrown around and getting hurt, or if the driver was hurt and the pet wandered away and got lost.

I wouldn't say it was a pet peeve of mine, but I always wondered why the owner would put the pet in such a dangerous situation.


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brab74
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:49:43 PM
I think in some places, that is against the law.

eebud
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:51:09 PM
I don't like seeing animals in people's laps either. It is dangerous for the animal. Like PP, it is not really a pet peeve though because I very rarely see it.

I think my biggest pet peeve these days is people who can't put their phone down and pay attention to what is going on around them when driving. For instance, they pull out the phone at a red light. They are first in line and by the time they realize the light turned green 20 seconds ago, it is now turning yellow so they now gas it and go through and everyone else is stuck to sit through another round of lights. If I am behind the person, I honk but not everyone will honk. This, or something close to it, happens almost every time I am in my car. A dog riding in a lap I see about once every 2-3 months.





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moodyblue
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:54:24 PM
I see this fairly often, and usually the driver is an older person. I wish it was illegal because I think it is so dangerous for the animal - and the driver and other people if the pet does something to startle or distract the driver. It is an accident waiting to happen.

katiez4kids
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Posted: 2/12/2013 12:59:25 PM
Oh my gosh, just last week I was driving on a busy road and the car next to me had a lap sized dog, on a leash standing on/outside of the open window (the driver was holding the leash while she drove the car). every time she would take off the dog tried to get more of her body outside into the wind. I was just amazed at how stupid the woman driving had to be to let her dog do this. Its little paws kept slipping and i just know she was going to fall and be dangling from the leash!!

NewfCathy
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Posted: 2/12/2013 1:05:46 PM
My dog loves to ride with me, but she stays in the back seat. If her window is open, and the car is going less than 40 mph, she might stick her nose out a tiny bit..... She's pretty cautious for a lab.

I rode with my cousin with her crazy, ill-trained jack russells. The dogs were in and out of our laps, jumping back & forth. Drove me crazy.

Cathy

recap.pea
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Posted: 2/12/2013 1:30:00 PM
My parents have a dog but my dad has had to be in the hospital a lot, they live in another state, so often I go get the dog and bring him home to stay with me for a while.

He is teeny tiny, 4 lbs maybe. He is a nervous rider and will not lay in the seat or floor and cries the whole way if you put him in a crate.

If he is in my lap, he will just go to sleep and he is calm, so that is why I put him there. It is safer than him running around the car and whining, crying for hours when I am driving home or taking him home.


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JanGram
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Posted: 2/12/2013 1:43:34 PM
Dangerous! And if there were an accident and the airbag went off the dog could be killed. My dog is far too crazy and wiggly to let on my lap when driving.


Jan




AKathy
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Posted: 2/12/2013 1:55:33 PM
Stella is never allowed to ride on my lap. If it's just around town, she rides on the passenger seat. If she's on a car trip with me she is safely secured in her doggy car seat.


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snugglebutter
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Posted: 2/12/2013 2:04:16 PM
It's terribly unsafe for both the pet and the driver.

My dog was too big to ride in my lap anyway, but I always used a pet car harness for him.


Sara


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Posted: 2/12/2013 2:11:40 PM
OMG...sometimes it's not the owner, it's the dog!!

We adopted a dog from a neighbor who didn't want him. He came dirty and his fur all matted. DH took him to the doggie parlor, and I picked him up. I had never had a pet dog before, so I walked him out to the mini van, popped him in the trunk section, got in and started to drive home.

This 80lb dog immediately jumped across both rows of back seats, then into the front seat, then into my lap. I could NOT move this animal to save my life. He was going to sit on my lap and that was that!!

Funny thing was he never did it to DH, but if I took him anywhere I'd have to put a leash on him and tie it to the back seat so he couldn't disrupt my driving.

gmcwife1
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:12:17 PM
I've heard that more states are enacting pet restraint laws, but they will be just like the no phone or texting laws, only as good as their enforcement


~ Dori ~

RockyMtnPea
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:21:09 PM
With regard to the no telephone or no texting laws. Some states only have the no texting law (not the phone law) It is nearly impossible to cite and convict someone for texting. Yet another law enacted with no real way to enforce it. So not the LEO's fault.

I also dislike pets on laps. In an accident they are missles. Otherwise the ones I see are always jumping and hopping around causeing a distraction to the driver.

LisaLisa
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:21:44 PM
Very dangerous! In college, my best friend was driving with her dog in the car. The dog, who was a cocker spaniel I believe, reached up and pulled the steering wheel, causing the car to roll over twice. My friend had to have surgery on her legs and will never be able to wear heels again, not to mention teeth replacement.

It's just not safe. You don't know what an animal could do.


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Mallie
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:26:53 PM
Ugh. I was once driving behind someone who had their dog on their lap -- the dog was standing on her lap with the front paws on the open window. As we were going through an intersection, someone ran a stop light and T-boned the car. The dog went flying out the window and let's just say, it did not end well.

Every time I see someone doing that now, all I can see is that nightmare flash before my eyes.

gmcwife1
SamFan

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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:29:22 PM

With regard to the no telephone or no texting laws. Some states only have the no texting law (not the phone law) It is nearly impossible to cite and convict someone for texting. Yet another law enacted with no real way to enforce it. So not the LEO's fault.



Sorry if you read that as being LEO fault, I agree with you, it's not easy to enforce. Everyone keeps an eye out for cops when they are texting or talking.

My state does have no texting and no talking unless it's handsfree laws, but we see it every day multiple times. It's not because the cops aren't looking, it's because they just can't be every where at once seeing it all.


~ Dori ~

Fireflyy
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:49:14 PM
I'll get upset with pets in a lap after the hundreds of people who text while they're driving actually stop. I've seen a pet in the driver's lap almost never. I see someone texting several times a day.

obsidian
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Posted: 2/12/2013 3:57:15 PM
I just saw it today. A man pulls up to an intersection but does not stop correctly. The horn is blasting.

The cause of the bad driving a poodle on his lap with it's paws on the horn and wheel.

The man comes to a complete stop pushes the dog out of the way and drives on much more safely \(ish) Still had a poodle in the car which thinks it can drive.

It would have taken very little time to clip the dog to a seat belt you can buy the appropriate saftey gear at the vets.

Chlerbie
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Posted: 2/12/2013 4:07:22 PM
My dog hates the car and really freaks out and gets ill when she has to ride. If she had her way, she'd sit in my lap, so if I'm alone, she will ride in the passenger seat, or if my SO is with me, she sits in HIS lap. I'd prefer her to ride restrained in the back, but she flips out so much that she gets physically ill and does so much better nearer to us. I do worry about her safety in the case of an accident, so we don't take her on too many joyrides.


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Posted: 2/12/2013 4:21:57 PM
Oh I hate it when people do that. So dangerous!! I actually saw a woman driving through a parking lot with a live bird perched on each wrist last week. How in the blue hell was she controlling that vehicle I will never know. I couldn't get out of that parking lot fast enough.


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TeamSteve
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Posted: 2/12/2013 4:34:45 PM
NOT a good thing to do.



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CarolT
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Posted: 2/12/2013 5:06:09 PM
My dog rides in the back seat, but I would like to get some sort of a restraint for her. Does anyone have a recommendation? Piper is small - about 13lbs.


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lavawalker
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Posted: 2/12/2013 5:48:16 PM
This is also one of my pet peeves.... I have a dog who if allowed to ride in the front seat will try persistently to get into my lap. He is a 25 lb dog. I take him with me, but he has to ride in the back seat. Funny thing is, he never cries or whines or even tries to get up to the front seat. He just seems to understand he has to stay put.

obsidian
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 2/12/2013 5:59:43 PM

Piper is small - about 13lbs.


For a small dog it might pay to look into cat restraints as well.

cdnstorelady
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Posted: 2/12/2013 7:16:17 PM
If he is in my lap, he will just go to sleep and he is calm, so that is why I put him there.
______________________________________________

Let me just say "air bag". If there is an accident (doesn't even have to be a bad one) and your air bag deploys, not only will your lovely pet be crushed to death between you and the airbag, it's quite likely you'll be killed too by having a hard object propelled into your torso at a high rate a speed.....


Artbabe
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Posted: 2/12/2013 7:47:07 PM
My sister drove into a deep ditch once because she let the cat out of its carrier to free roam the car. Of course the cat gets under her feet.

In the course of the wreck the cat ended up (probably thrown) in the back seat. Fortunately, both the cat and my sister were fine. The car, on the other hand, was not.

My cats are always in their carrier.


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SMayer
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Posted: 2/12/2013 7:56:24 PM
I agree. It's so dangerous. The person driving does not have complete control and what happens if they do get into an accident (whether their fault or not) and the airbag goes off. {shudder}

lynner5996
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Posted: 2/12/2013 8:04:42 PM
Our dog has a restraining halter. He is a 12 lb. dog but I am very afraid of how he would act if unrestrained on the car (he is just a year old). My old dog would just settle down in the back seat for the duration, and we never had to restrain him, but in my old age I decided that restraining was a safer option than having him sleeping in the front or even back seat unrestrained.


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blinks14
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Posted: 2/12/2013 8:54:39 PM
I do not allow my dog to sit in my lap while I'm driving. He sits in the front passenger seat. He is pretty well behaved for a Jack Russell.

We had 2 other Jack Russell's and the one would always try to sit on my lap while I was driving. But that was because we shared them with my husband's ex and she always allowed her to sit on her lap while she was driving.

angelaspangela
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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:09:12 PM

My dog rides in the back seat, but I would like to get some sort of a restraint for her. Does anyone have a recommendation? Piper is small - about 13lbs.


I've seen what I can only describe as a box that you can sit small dogs in. It secures to the seat with a seat belt. It has an open top but high sides so the animal can't just walk out of it as they please. Like this

Gynergy
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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:11:27 PM
Carol T -- suggestions for your baby (one a bit pricey -- have used both for my 12 pound Bichon successfully).

http://www.amazon.com/Easy-Rider-Small-Harness-Black/dp/B0002AQU16

http://www.amazon.com/Snoozer-Lookout-Seat-Small-Black/dp/B001F0OSJI/ref=sr_1_1?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1360725269&sr=1-1&keywords=look+out+car+seat+small


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CarolT
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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:37:29 PM
Thanks for the suggestions... I'm thinking something like the Easy Rider harness might work for her. Does it allow the dog enough movement to lie down, or are they kept in a sitting position?


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GroovyPea
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Posted: 2/12/2013 9:45:05 PM
We have a car seat that sits on top of the center console for our yorkie. It has a clip that we can attach to his collar to keep him in there. He seems to like it - spends a lot of time sleeping in it on long rides to "grandma's" house.


Steph

none2pleased
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Posted: 2/13/2013 5:32:23 AM
Saw this on Friday. I got behind a Sentra that had a "large" poodle in her lap. The dog had it's front paws on the steering wheel, standing up so this lady kept having to lean to the left or to the right just to see where she was going. Several time she almost ran off of the road.

She turned into my subdivision and I ALMOST got out of my car at her house and gave her a piece of my mind. But.... I knew my husband would have a s*#t fit, so I just cussed really loudly





katybee8
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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:42:30 AM
This is a pet peeve for me as well.

If you dog is in the front seat unsecured and the air bag goes off, there is a good chance that, like a small child, your dog could be killed or seriously injured.

If you dog is in the back seat unsecured, he could become a 30 lb. projectile in the case of an accident. 30 lbs. slamming into the back of your head would probably not have a good outcome for anyone involved.

I have Hold-A-Dog harnesses for my guys. They have a loop you can stick the seatbelt through to secure them down. I also have seats for them for longer trips.

Hold A Dog Harness

I have two of these seats for longer trips. They fold out into beds and can hold a lot of supplies underneath.

Dog seat

purpledaisy
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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:50:22 AM
I HATE when people drive like that! I see the danger to that driver and pet, but my primary concern is myself and everyone else on the road they might endanger by their stupid choice.


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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:51:42 AM
I drive with my miniature poodle in my lap. It's not an issue, nor does he distract me. He's a very calm, older dog. My maltese on the other hand, no.way.no.how. He is a little over a year old and is hell on wheels. There's no way I could drive with him in my lap.


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deputydog
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Posted: 2/13/2013 7:56:41 AM
I also hate to see this-- so dangerous!

I've been lucky that most of the dogs I've owned would just curl up in the back seat and go to sleep. They weren't even interested in sniffing out the window. I had one dog that had to be trained to stay in the back, but he learned quickly. Sometimes he would spend part of the ride with his front feet on the back of the center console, but he stopped trying to come up front. If you told him to get back he would lay down for a while.

I do see plenty of Amish driving buggies with little dogs on their laps!

Margaret



blondiek237
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:05:59 AM
On the drivers lap--that I do have an issue with. When take our boys to the park or the school for a walk--Ozzy is in the back seat and Jax is in the front seat with me (my DH is driving). When we went on the 5 hour ride--Ozzy was in the back and Jax was on the front seat between us curled up on his pillow. When it is nice, Jax loves to have his head out the window so he will stand on me (he is 60 lbs), but I am buckled in and I am holding his leash tightly (We had a dog as kids that was on a leash in the car and still jumped out the window while the car was moving). Just the other day we were driving through a very busy downtown area and this car in front of us was going a turtle speed, changing lanes... when we finally got around them--they were on the phone and had a dog in thier lap. People when you are behind the wheel of a car you have ONE job---DRIVE YOUR CAR everything else can wait or pull over.

blondiek237
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Posted: 2/13/2013 8:46:31 AM
And if we put both dogs in the back seat together--then both will die because they will either kill each other (this only happens in the car) or I will kill them.

scrappindzny
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:36:11 AM
Sprinkles is only allowed in the backseat.
She gets an 'uh oh' - our firm NO word - if she goes in the front seat at all.

I wish that there was a good restraint for her. If I take her somewhere with just me/my daughter...I will often put her in her little soft carrier. Mostly because I can't fathom the thought of something happening that would have been created by me getting distracted by the dog and me having been able to prevent it. She travels well in her little carrier. If it is DH/me/DD, though...I let her sit in the back with DD. It just depends. NEVER-EVER would she sit on my lap. I'm just not that patient of a driver and she's just a finicky dog. She'd probably get all hung-up in the steering wheel and no good could possibly come of that.


Leslie
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:42:20 AM
Distracted Driving ~ our local police will be targeting dogs on laps, chatting on your cell or texting, etc.

Why is it so difficult to just focus on your driving?

Is being responsible so uncool?


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Mallie
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Posted: 2/13/2013 9:44:50 AM


Is being responsible so uncool?
No, but it often requires us to give up convenience or preference and in our entitled and consequence-blind society, many are loathe to do that.

Maryland
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:41:51 AM
Very unsafe!

We always put our dog in a dog seatbelt in the backseat when we took him on trips. He was a german shepherd. We heard at a carseat check when my oldest was a baby that dogs could become a dangerous projectile in an accident. Much safer for the dog and the people in the car if the dog is restrained.

I am a car safety freak, so I had to get a seatbelt for the dog!

sugarcoated
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Posted: 2/13/2013 11:50:34 AM

It is safer than him running around the car and whining, crying for hours when I am driving home or taking him home.


You're that driving breast feeding mom from a couple years ago, huh?

At any rate, no matter your perception, you're an impaired driver if you have an animal in your lap, and you actually have no control over what that dog does. And, should you get into an accident for whatever reason, he will probably suffer major injuries or death because you have failed to properly secure him.


Lexica

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Posted: 2/13/2013 12:09:19 PM
How stupid am I? I have a 6-month old puppy and I thought I was being so careful by having him clipped into his harness and then attached to his carseat, BUT I put the carseat in the passenger seat. Duh. I didn't even think about the air bag on that side.

I will move his carseat to the center back today. Seriously, I have no idea why the passenger seat seemed fine to me. My pup travels well in his carseat because it raises him up to where he can see out the window or lay snuggled down in the padded liner (and extra soft sherpa pad that I added to spoil him) if he wants to sleep.

Thanks for the awakening smack to the head!

gmcwife1
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Posted: 2/13/2013 12:46:00 PM

As for "he won't ride without crying all the way". Please. Who is in charge here? If he won't ride without a fuss, then you don't take him. When you take him to the vet, you deal with the fussing. I know this. We have a cat who howls like a banshee when taken in her crate to the vet. We don't do joy riding with her - it's to the vet and back home, and we just deal with it. And she's confined to a crate secured in the backseat.


This was me when I picked up my cat. It was a 2 hour drive with him howling all but maybe five minutes of it. He was a rescue, so he didn't know me and I didn't know him. But in his crate he went and he still gets put in his crate when he goes to the vet.

We have to take the dog crate out of the 4Runner just to get groceries. We shop way less than we travel to dog events any more, so the crate is a fixture in our cargo section.


~ Dori ~

recap.pea
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Posted: 2/13/2013 2:16:15 PM

As for "he won't ride without crying all the way". Please. Who is in charge here? If he won't ride without a fuss, then you don't take him

You OBVIOUSLY did not read the entire post. It is my parent's dog - my dad is in the hospital, I bring the dog home from ANOTHER state (which is over a 6 hour drive) so the dog can stay with me while my dad is in the hospital and my mom is staying at the hospital with him (the hospital is 45 minutes from their house).

So I need to bring him home with me so he will have someone to take care of the little fella. Would you want to hear a dog cry and whine for 6 hours and have him be miserable and upset the entire trip, when he can be calm and quite and sleep the whole way instead?




You're that driving breast feeding mom from a couple years ago, huh?

At any rate, no matter your perception, you're an impaired driver if you have an animal in your lap,

Oh good grief! That is a bit of a stretch to compare those two things. You are talking about a 4 lb dog that doesn't move the whole trip as long as he is laying in my lap - he is not in the way of the steering wheel or my arms. Plus I am talking about maybe once or twice a year. If you drove past me, you wouldn't even see him.

gwen.m
BucketHead

PeaNut 450,148
January 2010
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Loc: UT

Posted: 2/13/2013 2:25:17 PM
I am guitly of this. Not on the lap so much as just having him unrestrained in the front seat. I've always gotten after DH for letting him on his lap while he drives but I've never been so entertained as when I watched my dog stick his head out of the window in the passenger seat. I've never had a dog until just over a year ago and I thought it was so cute! Then one day we were picking up DH (from the train station so we were going slow in the parking lot) and my poor puppy fell out of the window!! Luckily he wasn't hurt but it scared the crap out of both of us and I haven't let him do it since.
But he still rides in the passenger seat. I never thought of the air bag! Which is so weird to me now that I think about it. I'm a seatbelt fanatic, my kids have always been in carseats/boosters when needed, and now that they're out and begging to ride in the front seat, I never let them- even for short rides. And I hate any sort of playing around in the car (DH is notorious for it). I'm a car safety nut!
My poor dog, I'd hate to lose him or see him get hurt. Like a previous poster said, Thanks for the smack on the head!! I'll be getting him a dog seatbelt before the next car ride.
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