(NBC News) – A new study suggests taking your dog for a ride in your car could be putting your health and safety at risk. If you let your dog roam free while you drive, it could distract you and increase your risk for unsafe driving habits.
Researchers from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll followed 15 people who were driving with their dogs for more than 30 hours.
They found the risk of unsafe driving behaviors and distracted driving time more than doubled when the dog roamed freely.
This is compared to when the dog was restrained or was in a crate or carrier.
The drivers’ heart rates were likely to increase if their four-legged friend was unrestrained.
Some of the bad behaviors included dogs climbing on the owner’s lap or jumping from seat to seat, resulting in the driver taking their eyes off the road.