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Leticia Messam, manager, AAA Traffic Safety Programs, (813) 288-7988 office, (813) 786-7830 cell
40 percent of Tennessee travelers do not restrain their pet while traveling in a vehicle
"Many people remember to buckle themselves up, but forget that pets are in as much danger unrestrained as humans. An unrestrained pet not only endangers itself, but everyone in the vehicle as well,” said Michele Harris, director, AAA Traffic Safety Culture. "As fun as it may be to travel with your pet, safety should be the number one concern."
One out of three dog owners admit to being distracted by their dog while driving, and twice as many (2 out of 3) admit to engaging in distracting activities with their dog while driving, according to a national survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo.
“Looking away from the road for only two seconds doubles a driver’s risk of being in a crash,” said Harris. “No distraction is less dangerous than another, so drivers should eliminate as many distractions as possible, in an effort to be as safe as possible.”
For a list of the Top Ten Vehicles for pet owners, facts, or to download b-roll visit Public Affairs section of AAA.biz
- If in a crash, an unrestrained pet can become stressed and aggressive trying to bite paramedics or others who come to help
- If in a crash, an unrestrained pet can flee the vehicle and injure itself and/or cause another accident as vehicles try to avoid hitting the animal
- An unrestrained pet can distract the driver of the vehicle, causing the driver to crash
- The pet can become a projectile in the vehicle and can potentially injure or kill both the pet and passengers if in a crash
AAA Auto Club South is the third largest affiliate of AAA, with 78 branch offices serving 4.1 million members in Florida, Georgia, West and Middle Tennessee, and Puerto Rico. Since its founding in 1938, AAA Auto Club South has worked to protect and advance freedom of mobility and improve travel safety.
The online survey of 223 AAA Auto Club South members in Tennessee was conducted April 27- May 11, 2010. The overall maximum margin of error is plus/minus 6.6 percentage points.