Driving With Your Pet: Tips to Keep Both of You Safe

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Do you travel with your pet?  Is your pet properly restrained?  For most people, the answer to the second questions is probably, “No.”  While most people understand the importance of wearing a seatbelt, dogs are frequently let loose throughout the cabin as the driver cruises along.  This poses severe risks for both the driver and the pet.


Whatever the reason your pet might be traveling with you, whether you’re just going for a short ride or taking your pet with you on vacation, you want to make sure you keep your animal safe and secure in your vehicle.  An unrestrained pet can be a distraction, and can cause further safety risks in the event of a crash.


It’s estimated that tens of thousands of accidents are caused by unrestrained pets.  Unfortunately, there is no definite data because the records for these accidents only indicate that the driver was distracted, and don’t specify the cause.  Furthermore, it’s up to the driver to indicate that the pet caused the distraction.


That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drive with your pet at all.  At Penske Automotive, we understand you want to keep your pet at your side.  Just make sure that you follow these tips to keep your dog – and yourself – safe on the road.


Driver Safety

It’s obvious to many lawmakers that cell phones cause dangerous distraction when drivers call or text.  However, pets can be just as distracting.  When you’re on the road, your dog might bark, pace and jump around the cabin, paw at you, and even crawl down by your feet.  Just as you wouldn’t want your children yelling and bouncing around the car, you should also want your pet safely secured.


Your pet not only can cause distraction, but can also become a dangerous projectile during an accident.  It can hit other passengers, or cause another crash if it runs away from the accident.


Pet Safety

The dog is “man’s best friend,” so naturally you don’t want them getting sick or injured.  If you’re planning on take your dog with you, feed them hours before you leave, instead of right before.  Many pets get car sick, and you don’t want to have to clean it up or be distracted.


Make sure your pet is properly secured in your vehicle. Don’t let your pet ride with its head sticking out the window.  They might like it, but it can be especially dangerous.  They might step on the power window button, or could get hit by something outside the car.


The dangers aren’t just unique to when the car is in motion.  If you stop at a rest area, don’t leave the dog alone in the car.  If it’s hot outside, your pet can get overheated.  On the other hand, if you leave your window open to try to keep them cool, you run the risk of your pet being stolen or jumping out of the vehicle.  If you do take your pet out for a walk at a rest area, make sure they are secure in a leash or harness, and never let them run loose.


Some states are starting to implement laws and fines preventing people from driving with unrestrained pet.  Unfortunately, it’s not a top priority; lawmakers try to go after bigger issues. It’s up to you to keep yourself and your pet safe.



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