New research from SEAT has revealed that dogs have a positive effect on motorists.

Driving with a dog in the car helps reduces stress behind the wheel and encourages safer driving according to new research by SEAT U.K.

The Spanish firm's study revealed that more than half of the dog-owning drivers surveyed (54 percent) said that they drive more carefully when traveling with their pet in the car with them – particularly with younger drivers with 69 percent of motorists aged 18-24 said they drive more carefully with their dog in the car.

Older drivers, meanwhile, were at the other end of the spectrum, with 42 percent of over 55s saying that they were more cautious when their dogs were in the car.

Drivers in London and the North East were most likely to behave differently with their dog was in the car, with 70 percent and 66 percent respectively saying it would make them more careful behind the wheel.

What's more, having a dog in the car also had the added benefit of reducing driver stress levels, with 35 percent of those surveyed saying that they feel calmer when their dog is in the car.

However, despite all of this, many dog owners are unaware of the laws around traveling with dogs in the car. More than a third said they were unsure if there are any rules at all, while 90 percent said that they didn't know about the maximum nine-point penalty and £5,000 ($6,200) fine for driving without due care and attention when driving with a dog.

A fifth of dog-owning drivers admitted that they don't restrain their dogs in the car, so there could be millions out there flouting the law.

"Everyone knows the British public is passionate about its dogs, however, this study confirms that having their best friend in the car can contribute to safer driving while also having a positive mental health benefit by reducing stress levels. It appears to be a win-win," said Nigel Griggs, head of aftersales at SEAT U.K.

"Motorists still need to make sure they’re keeping their dogs safe while traveling too, and finding comfortable and secure in-car pet accessories to properly restrain pets is as important as using your own seat belt."

Source: SEAT
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PAWS FOR THOUGHT: OVER HALF OF MOTORISTS DRIVE MORE CAREFULLY WITH THEIR DOGS ON BOARD

  • Our four-legged friends could help make Brits better drivers according to SEAT research
  • Over half of dog owners admit they drive more carefully with their dog in the car
  • Nine out of 10 dog-owning motorists don’t know they can get fined £5,000 and nine penalty points for not restraining their pet while driving
  • One fifth of motorists admit to unknowingly flouting the rules 

Milton Keynes, 30 April 2020: Travelling with a pet dog in the car helps motorists to drive more cautiously and reduces stress behind the wheel, according to research by SEAT UK. 

The study revealed that our four-legged friends help their owners to drive more safely, with over half (54%) of dog-owning motorists admitting that they drive more carefully with their furry companions in the car with them*. 

The influence of having a pet pooch on board may be even more pronounced among younger drivers. Recognised as among the most at-risk age group on UK roads, over two thirds (69%) of motorists aged 18-24 said they drive more carefully with their dog in the car. 

Older drivers were least affected by their in-car canines, with 42% of over 55s saying that travelling with their dogs makes them drive in a more cautious manner. 

Motorists in London and the North East were most likely to behave differently if their dog was in the car, with 70% and 66% respectively saying it would make them more careful behind the wheel. 

As well as driving more cautiously, the presence of a dog in the car also appears to benefit mental health by reducing drivers’ stress levels. This could even help ease road rage for some motorists as over a third of drivers (35%) said that they feel calmer at the wheel if their dog is travelling in the car with them. 

Despite dogs being an unlikely hero in helping Brits drive more carefully, some motorists are still unaware of the laws around travelling with dogs in the car. 

Over a third of dog-owning drivers were unsure whether there were any rules at all, and more than nine out of 10 didn’t know of the maximum penalty of a £5,000 fine and nine points on their licence, which can be issued by police for driving without due care and attention. 

This may mean millions of Brits are unknowingly flouting the law, with a fifth of motorists admitting that they do not restrain their dogs in the car at all while driving. 

To keep our furry friends safe and comfortable, the SEAT range of pet accessories features everything from dog harnesses, allowing your dog to sit on any passenger seat during a journey, to cargo separation grilles, and protective seat and luggage compartment covers. 

Nigel Griggs, Head of Aftersales at SEAT UK commented, saying: “Everyone knows the British public is passionate about its dogs, however, this study confirms that having their best friend in the car can contribute to safer driving while also having a positive mental health benefit by reducing stress levels. It appears to be a win win. 

“Motorists still need to make sure they’re keeping their dogs safe while travelling too, and finding comfortable and secure in-car pet accessories to properly restrain pets is as important as using your own seat belt.”