A large black dog left alone in a running car managed to pop the gearshift into reverse and took the Mercury Sable for a spin in a Port St. Lucie, Florida, cul de sac this morning.
Neighbors saw the car backing up, and it just keep going for nearly an hour. The slow, circular, backwards trip took out a neighbor's mailbox and some garbage cans, but was otherwise uneventful. As reported by local ABC TV station WPBF, the canine joyride came to an end when local police and rescue agencies responded and were able to break into the car using the keypad and get the sedan stopped.
The driver, we're happy to report, was unhurt. It's reported that the car's human driver promises to pay for the destroyed mailbox.
It is unconfirmed whether the four-legged pilot has been contacted regarding TV commercial work for Subaru. And despite the humor in the situation, unrestrained pets in a vehicle can be a real safety hazard, for humans and animals alike. Several states require animals to be secured in a vehicle, and even in states where there's no requirement it's a very good idea to consider a pet restraint of some sort. For example, there are pet hammocks like this one, which help keep your pet secure in the back seat. And recent studies have shown that beyond the safety benefit, restraining your pets removes a significant distraction for drivers.