We've already heard of the lady whose 15 cats blocked her rear view window and caused her to back into another car. Now, a Connecticut man is blaming his dog for causing a fatal car crash. Brian Taplinger turned himself in for the April crash over the weekend, saying his Staffordshire terrier mix jumped on his lap while he was driving, causing him to swerve and collide with a car driven by 70-year-old Geoffrey Reynolds. Reynolds suffered leg injuries and died a few days later, and a new survey is saying driving with distracting pets is surprisingly common.
In a survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo pet travel products, 80% of dog owners say they drive with their dogs, but only 17% say the dog is restrained in some way. Another 59% of dog owners admitted to participating in at least one distracting behavior while driving with their dog, including petting the dog, feeding it and letting it sit in their lap. The survey didn't seem to count how many drivers let their dogs behind the wheel, but a quick Google image search of "dog driving car" shows way too many hilarious photos for it to not be some sort of epidemic.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said distracted driving fatalities are up 6% since 2005, and officials are calling for bans on all forms of distracted driving, not just texting. Does that mean requiring drivers to harness their pets? Because we want to see more puppy booster seats!