Dogs are in households across the country. Many dog owners bristle at the idea of being called an “owner” instead of a guardian or pet parent. This is because they treat their four-legged friends like furry children, including taking them wherever they go. Even dog guardians that don’t regularly ride with their pets will head to a park now and again. Unfortunately, many people ride with their dogs loose in their vehicle, causing not only a distraction but a huge safety risk.
Imagine driving down the road with your dog bouncing between the front and back seats. Perhaps you have a dog who stays in the backseat but paces back and forth. Now imagine being involved in an accident with that dog in your vehicle. At best, your dog is sent into the back of the front seats. At worse, your dog becomes a projectile within your vehicle. Safe driving includes making sure that your pet is properly secured when they ride along. Here are a few tips:
If your dog is small enough, a carrier strapped securely to the backseat is the safest option. This is often easier to accomplish with a large dog if you have an SUV. If you can fit it into your vehicle, a crate securely strapped offers the best protection for you and your pet, even on short journeys.
2. Seat Belt
The second-best option is to strap your dog to the backseat as you would an older child — with a seat belt. There are special harnesses you can buy that come with an attachment, allowing you to buckle your dog to the back seat. Alternatively, you can buy the attachment on its own and use your dog’s own harness. Keep in mind that your dog will need to be trained to sit or lay still in the back seat to avoid being tangled in the straps.
The last option, but one that still offers more safety than a dog hopping between the front and back, is to install a barrier in your vehicle. There are cloth, mesh and steel barriers available depending on your needs and the size of your vehicle. These work to keep your dog from crawling up into the front from between the seats. They will also keep your dog in the back if you are involved in a collision.
Driving with pets doesn’t have to be dangerous. There are safety products available on today’s market that make riding with a dog in the vehicle quite safe and enjoyable. If you are in the habit of allowing your pet to roam free while you drive, eliminate the distraction by purchasing and using one of the above options.
If you are involved in a car accident in Charlotte caused by a distracted driver, you have rights. Call our experienced car accident attorneys today for a free case evaluation. Find out what type of compensation you may be entitled to under current state law.