5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Car

Author: Auger Law | May 3rd, 2021

How to keep your dog safe in a car

With changes to how we travel, many North Carolina and South Carolina residents are hitting the road with dogs as their copilots. Whether your plan is to hike and camp, explore back roads and under-the-radar towns, or visit family and friends, the promise of an adventure on the open road can be exciting not just for you but for your dog, too.

At Auger & Auger, our dogs are part of our family, and we take them everywhere! Whether it’s bringing them with us on a weekend getaway, driving them to an area dog park to run and play, or taking them to vet check-up—our dogs love to go for car rides.

But like any family member, dogs need to be protected in case of a crash, and they should also not be a distraction. Here are 5 ways to help keep your dog safe in your car.

  1. Keep your dog restrained– It isn’t safe for you or your dog for them to be unrestrained in your vehicle. Dogs in the car can be a form of distracted driving. And, in the event of an accident, dogs can be thrown around in the car or possibly ejected. We also want to remind you that dogs should not ride with their head out the window. While it makes dogs happy and it’s cute to see, dogs with their heads out the window risk being struck by passing debris or being thrown out the window in the event of a collision or if you have to unexpectedly slam on your brakes or turn.

  2. Keep dogs in the backseat – Dogs love riding shotgun, but just like with small children, the backseat is the safest place for them. If a dog is sitting in the front seat, and a car accident occurs, the airbags could deploy and seriously injure—or even kill—the dog. However, while the backseat is the safest place for dogs, they should also be “secured” in the backseat with a specialized dog seat belt, harness, or cart seat (see Tip #3 or Tip #4).

  3. Seat belts and harnesses for dogs – In case you’re unfamiliar with them, dog car seat belts attach a full-body dog harness to a strap with a buckle that fits in the regular seat belt device of a vehicle. In the event of an accident or sudden change of speed, the harness should spread out the pulling force of a leash along your dog’s chest and back, minimizing force along the neck. However, dog seat belts and harnesses are best suited for larger dogs. If you have a small dog, you should consider a dog car seat (see Tip #4).

  4. Car seats for dogs – Perfect for small, anxious pups, cushioned car seats provide comfort and security. Dog car seats resemble dog beds, but they have harnesses that fit around the dog to keep them secure. Most of these carriers are elevated, which gives your dog a view of you and their surroundings. And they can be easily installed in the backseat of most cars and SUVs.

  5. Beware of hot temperatures – Summers in North and South Carolina can get hot! If you have to leave your dog in the car, be sure to first assess the temperature. What feels like a mild day outside, won’t feel so mild inside the car. Surprisingly, the temperature inside the car on a 75-degree day can easily reach 100 degrees! Pets can die inside hot cars, even if the windows are cracked.

If I am involved in a car accident in North Carolina or South Carolina, and my dog is injured, do I have a case?

In general, yes, but not the same as a person—which is why it is so important to keep you dog as safe as possible in the car.

Under North Carolina and South Carolina law, dogs are considered “personal property.” Your right to damages would be no different than recovering for other personal property that was damaged during the accident.

For example, if your dog was injured in a car accident and you had to take him or her to the veterinary hospital, you may be able to make a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance company to help cover the cost of those vet bills.

Things to remember if your pet is injured in a North Carolina or South Carolina car accident.

  • You must file a property damage claim because the injury of a dog does not fall under bodily injury liability.
  • Be sure to take your dog to the vet immediately—or very soon—after the car accident.
  • Inform the insurance company as soon as possible about the injuries and subsequent veterinary care.

Our North Carolina and South Carolina car accident lawyers are always available to help you after an auto accident

Call Auger & Auger at 855-969-5730 to speak directly to our attorneys

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured in a North Carolina or South Carolina car accident, trucking accident, or motorcycle accident, the car accident lawyers at Auger & Auger can help. Filing a claim can be difficult without the proper legal guidance. Our team has over 26 years of experience handling automobile accident claims and has helped thousands of injured victims and their families recover from serious accidents in North and South Carolina.

We know the frustration and worry you may be feeling after an accident, but our team can help take some of the weight off your shoulders. We are a compassionate group of attorneys who fight for our clients and their families. We pride ourselves on providing superior service, individual attention to every client, and aggressive representation.  We will treat you like family.

If you have any questions about whether or not you have a case, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We offer FREE, no-obligation consultations to all potential clients. And, you don’t have to pay for anything unless we secure a financial settlement for you. Call 855-969-5730 now to schedule your complimentary meeting with our experienced North Carolina and South Carolina car accident attorneys.

Posted In: Car Accidents, Safety Tips