Is it Legal to Drive with a Dog in Your Lap in the Hudson Valley?
I’ve seen a lot of distracted drivers, especially on Route 9 in Dutchess County, but that may be because there are so many lights that you actually get to see what is distracting those drivers. Usually it’s a cell phone. Sometimes it’s because they’re eating, and once I actually saw a man playing the violin while driving. No lie. And sometimes the driver is busy with the dog on their lap. That got me thinking.
Is it actually good for the dog to drive with it in your lap? Is it safe? What if you have an accident? What if the airbag opens? Could a little lap dog survive that? Is it even legal to drive with an animal in your lap? Hmmm. I decided to do some research. My research consisted of googling ‘is it legal to drive with a dog in your lap’. Not a lot came up. Google said that there is no restriction on driving with a dog sitting in your lap. I went to the NYS DMV website and searched distracted driving. Nothing about animals.. However, if you go to the defensive driving page, it does say to properly secure pets in a pet carrier or portable kennel.
So, is it legal to drive with a dog in our lap in the Hudson Valley? Apparently it is. Is it a good idea? DMV doesn’t seem to think so, and I have to agree. I love my cats and have traveled with them, but they do much better in their carriers than on the loose in the car. It gives them a sense of security, and keeps us all safer. At least, that’s been my experience.
Whatever you decide to do when traveling with your pet, I hope you keep the pet’s safety in mind just as much as it’s happiness. Your lap may be his happy place, but secure in the back seat might be better. And never, ever leave your pet in the car without you. But that’s a lesson for another day.