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Keeping Pets (And Yourself) Safe in Your Vehicle

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Pet safety in carsWhether you are travelling a short distance or cross-country, take basic precautions to keep your pets and everyone else in the car safe. Properly restraining your pet is the best way to prevent accidents and reduce the chances of injury if an accident does occur.

Unrestrained pets can not only interfere with driving, but they can become a dangerous projectile in a collision or during sudden stops. The animal can hit the windshield, collide with another passenger, or hit the driver.

The Importance of Restraining Your Pets in the Car

Proper securement can help reduce the risk of a roadway disaster, but unfortunately, many pet owners neglect this simple precaution. Take a look at this crash test using dogs that the Allianz Centre for Technology (AZT) staged. The researchers put two dummy dogs in the back seat, one restrained, one unrestrained. Upon collision, the restrained dog stayed in the backseat, while the unrestrained one catapulted towards the front of the car and smashed violently, head-first into the dashboard.

What is the safest way to travel with pets?

The Partnership for Animal Welfare (PAW) offers the following recommendations to keep your pets secure and safe in the car:

  • The ideal option is to use a crate or sturdy pet carrier to restrain your pet while travelling. Make sure you properly secure the crate in case you have to stop short.
  • If you don’t have a crate or your car is too small to accommodate one, purchase a dog seat belt, which doubles as a harness. You can check pet supply stores for options.
  • Consider installing a backseat pet barrier to keep dogs in the back. These barriers are lightweight, easy to install, and inexpensive.
  • If you do not have any of the above, you might want to try “using a short leash with a loop on the end. Adjust the back seat's middle seatbelt as tight as it will go. Slip the leash through the seatbelt and resecure it. If the leash is short enough to limit the dog to sitting up, lying down and turning around, it will probably be short enough to keep the dog from being thrown to the floor in the event of a sudden stop,” recommends PAW.

Get More Safety Tips

For more safety tips, check out the free resources at the American Kennel Club and the ASPCA. You can also look over our blog for free, useful safety information. In the event that you are involved in a car accident in New York, contact an injury attorney at Goldstein and Bashner to discuss your legal options: (516) 874-4362.

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