In early October, members of the Aurora Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Detachment were on location at the Town's local Global Pet Foods store to raise awareness of the dangers of distraction while driving. And, more specifically, the danger of driving with an unsecured pet in your car.
Did you know that distracted driving is the number one cause of collisions and death on our highways? In fact, most collisions have some form of distraction involved. Each time we put ourselves behind the wheel, we are regularly surrounded by distraction while driving. Cell phones are generally the most publicized distraction, however there are additional types that are very common. They include:
Visual - Taking your eyes off the road while driving.
Manual - Taking your hands off the wheel while driving (eg. texting, applying makeup or eating).
Cognitive - Taking your mind off what you are doing.
An unsecured pet in your car while driving removes your attention from where it should be; focussed on the road and on driving safely. When we're not focussed on driving safely, it creates an increased chance of being in a collision. When a collision actually occurs, an insecure pet in a vehicle then becomes a projectile. An unsecured projectile in a collision becomes a very real risk of injury or worse to you, your passengers, your pet and those in vehicles around you and involved in the collison.
In addition, people that drive with their pet on their lap risk blocking the airbag in the case of collision and injuring (or worse) the pet as the pet becomes trapped between the driver and the steering wheel/air bag in the collision.
Pet restraints are quick and simple to use. When in use, they could save your life and the lives of your fluffy family members in the event of a collision while driving. Please consider having a pet restraint readily available for your pet and be sure to use it each time you drive with your pet in the car. It could save your life.
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Blog written and photos provided by Sergeant Clayton Brown, Operational Support Supervisor, Highway Safety Division Headquarters, Traffic Safety and Operational Support, Ontario Provincial Police.
SWSCD wishes to thank Sergeant Brown and Global Pet Foods for sharing this important information around driver safety, distracted driving and having pets secured while driving a vehicle.
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