LANSING, Mich. — We all know the importance of wearing our seatbelts and making sure children are strapped down in car seats, but what about keeping our pets restrained during a car ride?
Just this week, a woman driving in Northern Michigan flipped her car. She said her dog jumped on the dashboard to bark at her windshield wipers, causing her to lose control.
"It caused her to become distracted, and her vehicle rolled, and thankfully I understand she is going to be okay," Lt. Darren Green said.
They're man's best friend, so naturally, people are going to want to bring their dog along for the ride sometimes. But state police say they can be a distraction; in this case, causing this type of damage or even worse.
"I've witnessed it a lot and I just don't know how it can not be a distraction. You have enough going on in front of you and around you," he added.
State police say its best to have a gate or something along those lines separating the back row of seats from the front, that way you can cut down on distractions.
"To have a pet on your lap that can potentially distract you or take your attention away from what you're doing even for a split second. It can make all the difference in the world of being involved in a traffic crash or not being involved in a traffic crash."
After the accident, State Police tweeted a picture of the damage, along with some advice: restrain your pet properly because "you owe it to them and other people on the road."
We've all seen or experienced dogs sitting on people's laps while driving. But a bill introduced last year would make that illegal unless it was for a medical purpose. The legislation has not passed out of committee.