Think of distracted driving and you probably picture drivers on the phone, either talking or texting. (Don’t let me get started on that topic…) According to Distraction.gov, the official US government website about distracted driving, “At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving….” The latest statistics show 421,000 people injured annually in crashes caused by distracted drivers and over 3,300 people are killed annually in these accidents.
While distracted driving is mostly commonly used to describe driving while texting, dialing, or otherwise being distracted by a phone or electronic device, that’s not the only kind of distraction in our cars. DOGS can also be a distraction to the driver, especially if there are no passengers in the car to assist.
Some of the biggest potential distractions are also the easiest to solve:
- Your dog can climb into the front seat and cause you to take your eyes off the road, creating a real hazard.
- Your dog can climb into the front seat and risk hitting your controls.
- He can climb into the front seat and risk getting beneath your feet and blocking access to the brake and gas pedal.
Here are five ways to keep your dog from distracting you by climbing into the front seat:
1. Buckle up your dog.
Just as the kids put on seat belts, the dog kids put on harnesses and seat belt restraints. Our dogs both wear Kurgo harnesses that are then secured to the tie-downs in the back of the Jeep. (We keep the back seat folded down for the dogs since they’re large and our car isn’t.) The harnesses can also be secured directly to the seat belts.
2. Put your dog in a crate and secure the crate in the car.
Crates that are secured properly prevent your dog from coming up into the front seat. It’s not enough to just crate your dog; be sure to secure that crate as well so that, in the event of an accident, the crate (and your dog) don’t become projectiles.
3. Put your dog on a zip line.
Dogs can also be tethered in the back seat, using both their harness and a special auto zip line. If you don’t think you can seatbelt your dog because he just will not be still, consider a zip line which works with your seatbelts and gives your dog the run of the back seat. A zip line also makes it easy for you to get your dog in and out of the car.
4. Block access to the front seat with a barricade.
Barricades, both soft and rigid, can prevent your dog from accessing your front seat. Kurgo offers a Backseat Barrier™ that not only keeps your dog out of the front seat but it provides handy pockets for storing goodies.
Other people prefer rigid barriers like the Wander Cargo Barrier, designed to block access without blocking your rear view:
5. Deter access with Auto Grass.
Does your dog try to stand on the console between the driver’s and passenger’s seat? (In some cars, large dogs can still access this area even while restrained in the back seat.) Kurgo’s Auto Grass was designed to be uncomfortable to your dog’s paws. Like overgrown plastic turf, this easy-to-remove attachment fits on the top of your console to keep Fido in the back seat.