Survey Says

Having your dog along for the ride makes you a safer driver

Dogs should be properly restrained at all times during vehicle travel.

Photo by Getty Images

A new survey of 2,000 U.K. drivers, who are also pet owners by SEAT UK, reveals that many are safer drivers when they have their dog in the vehicle with them. Some jurisdictions in the U.K. require drivers to restrain their dogs while en route and drivers who do not may be fined. Similar laws are in place in the U.S.

There results of the survey showed that 54 percent of respondents admitted that they drive more carefully when their dog is in the car with them. That percentage rises when younger drivers' behaviors are isolated. Sixty-nine percent of respondents aged 18-24 said they drive more safely with a dog in the car.

Close-Up Of Dog car spaniel riding Having their dog along for the ride calmed down most drivers. Photo by Getty Images/EyeEm

Older drivers exercised the least amount of additional caution when their dog accompanied them on a drive. Just 42 percent of respondents over 55 years old said that they were safer drivers when their pet was along for the ride.

Dogs are known for decreasing stress levels at home, but they also work their magic while on the road. Thirty-five percent of motorists said that they feel calmer when their dog is in the car with them.

U.K. drivers who do not properly restrain their dog while driving may incur a 5,000 fine and receive nine points on their license. Nine out of 10 people surveyed by SEAT UK were unsure of the rules concerning restraining a dog while motoring.

Over a third of dog-owning drivers were unsure whether there were any rules at all, and more than nine out of 10 didn't know of the maximum penalty, which can be issued by police.

Nigel Griggs, Head of Aftersales at SEAT UK commented, saying: "Everyone knows the British public is passionate about its dogs, however, this study confirms that having their best friend in the car can contribute to safer driving while also having a positive mental health benefit by reducing stress levels. It appears to be a win win.

"Motorists still need to make sure they're keeping their dogs safe while traveling too, and finding comfortable and secure in-car pet accessories to properly restrain pets is as important as using your own seat belt."

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The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class elevates the luxury marque to new heights.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The formula for every Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is simple. Take a Mercedes-Benz S-Class and elevate it to a bonkers level. Make it lush and plush, and suitable to use as an executive's limousine. That's exactly what Mercedes has done with the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class.

The car starts with a stretch. Its wheelbase is seven inches longer than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. All that stretching benefits rear seat occupants the most. But that's not all the perks for back seat riders. Long day at the office? Not a problem. The cabin has been upgraded to include new comfort features like a calf rest massage function and neck/shoulder heating.

Mercedes-Maybach S-Class The model gets a unique front grille.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

This Mercedes is also differentiated from the rest of the S-Class at its face with a unique Mercedes-Maybach grille, complete with vertical chrome pinstripes. The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS received a similar treatment. At its sides, an admirer can see that the rear doors are wider and C-pillars feature a fixed quarter light as well as the Maybach brand logo. Adaptive rear lighting makes its debut on the model.

Buyers can request their chauffeur-ready car with a two-tone paint finish. The two paint colors are divided by a coachline that is applied by hand. Rolls-Royce offers a similar scheme.

The car's electrified engine is a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that delivers 496 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a nine-speed automatic gearbox. That's less on-paper power than the previous version of the model offered, but the electric boost off the line should make up for that, and make the vehicle more fuel efficient. Motor1.com has confirmed that an all-wheel-drive, V12-powered Maybach S-Class will be part of the lineup when it goes on sale.

Rear-wheel steering makes the car more maneuverable than its dimensions may have lead you to believe. A variety of wheel designs are available including 20-inch monolocks and 21-inchers.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Buyers can upgrade from the initial Mercedes-Maybach to add electrically operated comfort rear doors. This features allows for the doors to be opened with little force, even when the car is parked on a grade. Rear doors can also be operated from the driver's seat - an important function for those looking to be driven in their car rather than getting behind the wheel.

The cabin of the S-Class is as well-appointed as you may imagine it should be. Authentic materials featured alongside alluring color schemes are standard for the model.

It features high-quality wood surrounds on the sesatbacks of the front seats. Adding the Executive Rear Seat Plus package adds a similar area of trim between the two rear passengers. A seat belt extender has been integrated into the backrest of the Executive seat.

This Mercedes builds on the traditional S-Class's two standard infotainment screens and ups the number to five. In the middle of the car is a 12.8-inch display. In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. Two 11.6-inch screens are on the rear setbacks, and a removable tablet is stowed in the rear center console.

The car utilizes active noise cancelling technology to keep the cabin of the luxury sedan serene. To add in music, buyers can activate the S-Class's standard Burmester High-End 4D Surround Sound system.

Heated, cooling, and multi contour seats are available for each passenger. There's a calf massager for when rear seat passengers need a little extra TLC and a beverage chiller that is located in the center rear of the back console. Custom champagne flutes are available, natch.

The 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S580 will arrive at U.S. dealerships in mid-2021.

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The 2022 Infiniti QX55 is a new addition to the company's portfolio.

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

There was the Infiniti FX. Now there's the Infiniti QX55. Considered the spiritual successor of the beloved crossover of the premium automaker's past, the QX55 is designed to deliver comfort and style as the smallest SUV in the company's portfolio.

The Infiniti FX was in production for three generations from 2003 to 2017. In its first two generations it was known as the FX, but the name later switched to the QX70 when the automaker redid its nomenclature to the current form.

At the QX55's front is the company's signature double-arch grille that consists of an origami-inspired mesh pattern. On either side of the grille are standard LED headlights. The car's design lines flow from the hood and front fenders, across the doors, and over the rear wheels. All QX55 models come standard with 20-inch wheels.

2022 Infiniti QX55

Photo courtesy of Infiniti Motors

At the back is an cleanly designed tailgate. The crossover's digital "piano key" taillights combine 45 separate LEDs in a single housing to create a light signature, like that was seen most recently on the Infiniti QX60 Monograph.

Infiniti has given the QX55 a fresh logo that houses the power liftgate release. Hyundai and Volkswagen models have similar design.

Every QX55 features the company's VC-Turbo four-cylinder engine under the hood. It is paired with a continuously variable transmission that makes 268 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque. All-wheel drive is standard on models sold in the U.S. and Canada.

Drivers will be able to choose from the QX55's four drive modes: Standard, Eco, Sport, and Personal.

Buyers have the option of getting leatherette, leather, or semi-aniline leather appointments for the QX55's seats.

The interior of the QX55 has a dual-screen center stack, InTouch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay compatibility, multiple USB inputs, and Android Auto compatibility. The top screen is eight inches and the bottom is seven inches. A 16-speaker Bose audio system is available.

The 2022 Infiniti QX55 will be sold in three grades: Luxe, Essential, and Sensory. It will arrive on U.S. shores in the spring of 2021.

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