Pets in the Car? – How to Keep Them Safe!
Now that spring has arrived, more and more people are going out and often bringing their furry companions with them. How many times have you looked out the car window to see an overzealous dog with its head out the window, tongue wagging in the breeze? Kids find it hilarious and adults find it adorable. But is it safe? Is it a distraction for the dogs owner driving or the other drivers? And, is it against the law?
Most states have laws governing whether your pet can come along for the ride. Things like safety partitions, seat restraints and carriers are suggested or often required if you do want to have your pet in your vehicle. Common sense is also assumed. A pet, like a child, should always be in a restraint; never be in the front seat; or, in a seat with an airbag. A dogs head hanging the window is subject to injury by flying objects. For good reason, you don’t see humans sticking their heads out of a window to feel the wind to feel the breeze! Additionally, a dog on the lap is never a good idea. You and your dog face serious injury if you attempt this whole operating a vehicle.
If you are not abiding by the state and local laws as to safely restrain your pet while driving, any applicable car insurance may not cover the veterinary expenses or value of the pet if injured in the crash.
A dog can also be very distracting to other drivers as a passenger if not properly restrained. A drivers focus can be interrupted if they are too busy focusing on the pets actions in the vehicle. As well, other drivers on the road are tempted to steal a glance at your pet, causing them to take their eyes off the roadway.
Some states go as far as to citing a driver for reckless driving if a distraction due to the pet played a part in causing the accident. Asserting negligence on the part of the driver for not restraining their pet properly could potentially increase the value of a claim.
While many people enjoy bringing their pet along for the ride, it needs to be done in a safe and prudent manner as to promote safety for you, your pet and other motorists.