It does not happen often, but every now and then, one of my dogs (my smaller one) will crawl his way onto my lap while I am driving.

We have two doggos that are small-ish. My 55-pound fatso is not a lap dog, but my 25-pounder, Mr. Miko, thinks he is.

If it were up to Miko, he would sit on my lap while I drive everywhere. When we have both dogs, they sit in the back with a barrier between the front and back so they cannot come up to the front. However, when I am alone with just Miko, sometimes I break the rule and let him sit on my lap.

We have all seen it: a little 10-15 pound terrier, Maltese, or any small dog breed sitting on the driver's lap. It looks so cute, but is devastatingly dangerous if that vehicle were to get into an accident.

It is certainly dangerous, as an airbag would crush the little guy in the front. But is it illegal?

Getty Images
Getty Images

Having a dog sit on your lap is frowned upon in every state, but there are only four states that outlaw it altogether: Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, and Washington, according to a State Line article.

This is something that gets talked about frequently in all states, including New England's states. Just last year, State Rep. Jennifer Rhodes, R-Winchester, proposed a bill to permanently make driving with an animal on your lap outright illegal, according to a WMUR article.

Those in support are looking to protect the driver and the animal, as the animal could distract the driver, causing an accident, and potentially causing harm to the human driver and/or the animal.

So as of now, having your dog on your lap is legal, yet not advised for you and your animal's safety.

Bills are being presented to outlaw this (at least in New Hampshire), so we could see more movement to ban this kind of driving in the near future.

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