As more surveys and research is done on pet safety, it's clear that traveling with a dog is risky and they need to restrained just like people.

We love our dogs and want the best for them. When life takes us on the road, we need to be aware of the hazards of driving with a dog. Here are some figures that show how much we travel with our dogs, yet how little some dog owners make safety a priority when doing so.

Five Eye-Opening Statistics 

1. 85% of dog owners travel with their dog.

This figure, from a AAA/Best Western survey, shows just how much we love our traveling with our four-legged passengers. The top type of vacations enjoyed with pets include going to the beach (33%), camping (27%) and hiking (17%). Dogs are part of our family and we would much rather take them along with us than leave them behind. The survey also found that 28% of those who travel with pets indicate they would rather travel with their pet than with their significant other. We won’t comment on that though…

2. Twenty-five of 29 so-called “safety” dog travel products failed crash testing.

As reported by national investigative correspondent, Jeff Rossen, on the TODAY show, when 29 crates, carriers and harnesses were crash tested by the Center for Pet Safety, only four passed the test.

Upon completion of scientific testing of crate products that claim “testing,” “crash testing” or “crash protection,” CPS named the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate with 8' Tie Down Straps the 2015 Top Performing Crate. It was the only crate to retain structural integrity for the duration of the crash simulation and fully contain the test dog with no breach to the containment device.

3. An estimated 100,000 dogs die each year from falling out of truck beds.

This is pretty shocking. While some states do have laws regulating the transport of a dog in the cargo area of a pickup truck, it seems this is more of a common sense issue than a legislative one. Riding with an uncrated dog is not only a risk to the dog, but to others as well. A dog (or dogs) bouncing back and forth in the truck bed is a distraction. The best way to transport a dog in a pickup is to use a Gunner Kennel that is tied down with our crash-tested straps.

4. Use of a pet restraint is three times greater among people who have heard of situations where unrestrained dogs were injured or caused injury to other passengers in a car crash.

According to a survey conducted by AAA and Kurgo, it seems it takes something disastrous to happen before dog owners take heed of the dangers of traveling with an unrestrained dog. Well, if you need convincing, here’s a story that aired on Good Morning America:

“Dog trainer, Alicia Calhoun, was traveling with her six dogs when she says she was in a bad car accident. Tsunami, a 13-week-old puppy, along with one other dog did not make it. Tsunami was the only one in a crate and the right type could have possibly saved her life.” 

5. Thirty-one percent of surveyed drivers admit to being distracted by their dog.

We all know the dangers of texting while driving, but pets are a big distraction also. According to AAA, 31% of all drivers admitted to being distracted by a pet while driving. This increases the risk not only of the dog, but also to other drivers and passengers on the road. ABC news reports that in a 35 mph crash, an unrestrained dog weighing 50 pounds is propelled forward with 1,500 pounds of force.

A crate is the best and safest way for your dog to travel. We hope some will read this and understand that there is no excuse to not secure your dog when traveling.