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Unrestrained pets can cause crashes, warns AAA

Posted at 8:14 PM, Jul 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-05 22:14:46-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Keeping children buckled up is critical to keep them safe in the car, but other members of the family--the four-legged kind--need to be restrained as well.

AAA says that 84 percent of dogs are riding unrestrained, which poses a risk not only to Fido, but car drivers as well.

Dog mom Joan Kelinke understands this risk, which is why she keeps Lenny in a $350 kennel to keep him safe.

"He's very calm cool and collected. He's not whimpering. He's probably curled up, snoozing, and I'm in a safe place to drive," she says.

Utah Highway Patrol Sargeant Cade Brenchley said he's seen his share of doggie distractions, including one driver who was all over the road because his new dog climbed on his lap and he didn't have control over him.

But these distractions can cause injuries, or even death.

In 2015, a head-on crash killed a driver and her dogs, and it was believed that the dogs may have caused the driver to lose control of the car.

But here's another reason to keep your pet restrained in the car. In a crash, your dog will come forward, hitting you with exponential force.

AAA says that an unrestrained 10-pound dog in a 30mph crash can hit the driver with 300 pounds of force.

While it may not be necessary to spend hundreds of dollars for a kennel, buying proper restraints could save both a beloved pet and owner from a deadly crash.