Don’t let Fido become a distraction – or a missile!

At just 30mph a 80-pound pet becomes a 2,400 pound projectile!

Although I consider myself to be a pretty passionate safety advocate against distracted driving, as well as having a huge heart for animals I have an embarrassing confession to make: Everytime I take my boys for a car ride I become a distracted driver, while also putting my four-legged kids in harm’s way. I’ve never really taken the time to think about the distraction that having Cheech & Diesel in the car brings. A survey of drivers who travel with their dogs showed 56% of pet owners have driven with their dog in a vehicle at least once a month over the past year. (Guilty)

Sixty-five percent of dog owners admit to engaging in at least one potentially distracting activity while driving with their dog:

  • 52% admit to petting their dog (Guilty)
  • 23% admit to using their hands/arms to keep their dog from seat hopping (Guilty)
  • 18% admit to reaching in the back seat to interact with their dog (Guilty)
  • 3% admit to taking a photo of their dog (Only guilty when my husband is driving, but I am sure that is just as distracting)

In addition to the driving distraction that Cheech & Diesel present as passengers in the car, they also pose another safety hazard — becoming a flying missile in the event of a sudden stop. At an abrupt stop Cheech & Diesel would keep moving at whatever speed the car was traveling.  In the event of a crash, even if I was only going 30 mph, Diesel’s 80 pound frame would exert about 2,400 pounds of force.There are some auto insurance policies that now offer coverage for pet injuries sustained as the result of an accident — however there is no coverage for the unbearable heartache one would endure in such a tragedy.

Tips for a safer trip:


  1. Large dogs (such as Diesel) should be restrained with harnesses linked to a car’s seat belt.  Smaller pets should ride in crates or a travel-safe dog bed.
  2. Dogs should never ride on the driver’s lap.
  3. Don’t let your dog stick their head out the window — even though they love it.  Dirt and debris can cause injury or infection.

NEVER leave an animal in a parked car, even if the windows are partially open. Even on pleasant days the temperature inside a car can soar to well over 100 degrees in less than 10 minutes, placing your pet at risk for heatstroke and possibly death. Pets can very quickly suffer just like humans, from heat stroke or heat exhaustion. On very cold days, hypothermia is a risk.

If you live in Indiana and would like to discuss your insurance with me Click Here. 


A Young Life Taken Too Early

Joe Teater
April 12, 1991 - January 19, 2004

Had it not been for a cell phone distracted driver, Joe Teater would be celebrating his 21st birthday today.  Instead of celebrating a joyous day, Joe’s parents will be visiting him at the cemetery, only able to imagine what their son would be like had he made it to this milestone.

Sadly, Joe is one of thousands who die each year at the hands of a distracted driver. Distracted driving is an absurd epidemic that only continues to get worse.  While the issue fortunately does receive national attention, it hasn’t been enough.

This month (April) is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is a perfect time for every motorist to take the pledge  to drive cell free while on the road so you are not responsible for the senseless death of another human being. No text is worth a life.

The Faces of Distracted Driving: Joe Teater, 12 | Hear the Stories. Get the Message Continue reading

Don’t be a Zombie Behind the Wheel

What’s the difference between a Distracted Driver and a Zombie?

Considering the fact that a distracted driver’s brain temporarily lacks cognitive attention skills, there really isn’t any difference when on the road. (On land however it’s a different story, so make sure your Zombie Insurance is up to date) Distracted driving, such as texting, phone calls and eating, can reduce brain function by as much as a third. This lack of brain function can effectively turn you into a Zombie behind the wheel, which is unsafe for you and your passengers, other drivers and pedestrians.

One call can change EVERYTHING

The Month of April is:

It’s time to “Put it Down”

Drivers simply can’t do two things at once. Period.

With the ever increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks at once is something we all face daily.  As a result, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on America’s roadways that demands immediate attention: distracted driving.

In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and a half million more were injured in distracted driving crashes.  One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage.  Cell phone use has grown dramatically in recently years. In 1995, cell phone subscriptions covered only 11% of the United States population; in 2010, that number grew to 93%. This has led to a substantial increase in cell phone use while driving and distracted driving-related deaths.1A recent report from the National Safety Council found that more than one out of every four traffic accidents is caused by people talking on cell phones or sending text messages.2

Drivers using cell phones behind the wheel miss half of the information in their driving environment. Texting while driving increases your chances of a crash by up to 8 to 23 times.Drivers who type or read text messages contribute to at least 100,000 crashes each year, leading to thousands of preventable deaths.3
Take the FocusDriven Pledge  today to stay cell free while on the road so you are not responsible for the senseless death of another human being.  No text is worth a life.

The Faces of Distracted Driving: Hear the Stories. Get the Message Continue reading