Arizona is one of the few states which uses a blanket distracted driving law to keep driver attention focused squarely on the road ahead of them. That means police do not need to see you use your cell phone, or text to pull you over. Simply holding your dog while driving, or petting them while they bounce around the back seat could be enough for them to make a stop and cite you for distracted driving.

Distracted driving is now the single most likely cause of a traffic fatality in the United States. This puts distracted driving ahead of driving while intoxicated when it comes to cause of death. This has forced many states to take a good hard look at the most common cause of distracted driving: those ubiquitous digital gadgets everyone is so fond of.

But those are hardly the only reasons why people get distracted behind the wheel. Distractions range from digital devices to changing channels on the radio to talking with passengers. They also include allowing pets to wander around the cabin of the vehicle freely. Several states have already passed laws limiting the ability of drivers to allow their pets to wander free, although some similar efforts have failed to garner enough votes after pet advocacy groups rise up and complain.

Arizona has circumvented this problem by creating a blanket law to prevent drivers from being distracted by anything, pets include. And so far, it has been working as planned.

Research shows a 10-pound dog, propelled forward by a collision, can hit you with the force of 500 pounds.

Impact will most certainly kill the dog and could severely injure or kill you.

Arizona is one of three states with a blanket distracted driving law.

If an officer saw you reaching in the back seat to interact with Fido, you could be stopped and cited.

It’s difficult to enforce, but certainly possible.

Pet experts recommend using a harness to secure your pet to a seatbelt while in the vehicle, preferably in the rear seat.

An airbag can kill a dog.

Big dogs riding in an SUV should be confined to the rear cargo area, and a divide should be used to keep them from moving forward in the cabin.