Summer is fast approaching, and as Ohioans hit the road to enjoy the improving weather, the likelihood of getting into an accident increases. Distracted driving has become an epidemic across the country, but cellphone use is not the only culprit.

If you have ever driven with your dog in the car, you, too, could wind up accused of driving while distracted. In fact, driving with your pooch may prove more dangerous than you may think. Take a look at some of the reasons why you may want to change the way you travel with your best friend.

Attention grabbers

Like children, pets may prove to grab your attention away from the road ahead. According to Forbes magazine, up to 52 percent of people who admit to driving with pets also admit to taking their eyes off the road to deal with their dogs. As in cellphone use, a few seconds of not paying attention may result in a serious accident.

Hands off the wheel

If you have ever driven with your dog, you know that unlike a child, there is no great way to restrain a pet. While companies do make seat belt restraints for dogs, many people prefer to allow their pets to roam freely in the vehicle. This creates a dangerous scenario when coming to an abrupt stop. Many drivers take one or both hands off the wheel to keep a dog from careening either into the dashboard or from the backseat into the front. Obviously, this is not a safe practice in any respect.

Lap holders

Driving down the road, how many times have you seen a small dog perched on the driver’s lap? This is probably the most dangerous scenario for drivers, as it provides an obstacle that may hinder quick reaction time should a situation ahead necessitate it. Plus, the constant distraction of a pet on the lap is a crash waiting to happen.

When it comes to traveling with Man’s Best Friend, drivers should reconsider allowing certain behaviors to continue. While you may never look at your phone while driving, you may wind up in a crash just as easily by paying more attention to your dog.