Pets used to live at home, and only ride in a vehicle when it was necessary, such as a trip to the vet. Now, people take their pets along as they would a family member. People travel with their pets, take them along when shopping, and take them to the dog park or on play dates with other dogs. Unfortunately, most owners do this without thinking of the dangers and how to keep pets safe in the car.
Some of the most common dangers of having your pet in the car while you are driving are:
- Your pet suffering injuries from being tossed around the car after you have to slam on the brakes or make a sharp turn.
- You, distracted by your pet, causing an accident.
- Both you and your pet suffering injuries in the accident.
- Your pet escaping or falling out of the vehicle, sustaining injuries and/or getting lost.
And while these scenarios are all quite scary, it does not mean you can never travel with your pet again. Here are four easy, simple ways to keep your pet safe and secure when in the car.
TIP # 1: P for Prepare
Prepare for your pet to ride in the car:
- Take along a favorite toy or blanket to calm your pet and give him something to do. This will make him less likely to demand attention from you while you are driving.
- Take along food and water so your pet will not go hungry or become dehydrated.
- Plan your errands and stops so you can keep your pet with you at all times during the excursion.
TIP # 2: A for Alone
Never leave your pet alone in the vehicle. Your pet can die from exposure to heat or cold much faster than you might realize.
Even if your pet is used to being outside on a hot or cold day, the temperature in your vehicle will likely be much hotter or colder than the outdoor temperature. It does not take long for this to happen.
If you are not in your vehicle, your pet should not be either.
TIP # 3: W for Windows
When you are in the vehicle with your pet, keep the windows up or only opened slightly. This will prevent your pet from jumping or falling out of the vehicle. This will also keep random airborne objects from flying by and injuring your pet.
TIP # 4: S for Secure
Secure your pet in a harness or pet carrier. If your pet is unsecured, your pet can suffer injuries if she goes flying around the vehicle when you hit the brakes, go around a corner, change lanes, or alter the speed or path of your vehicle.
If you are in an accident when your pet unsecured, your pet could suffer injury. A pet carrier can provide a protective physical barrier for your pet, shielding him from broken glass and other hazards from auto accidents.
A pet carrier or harness can also help keep your pet in place in the event of an accident, similar to a person wearing a seat belt. In addition to protecting your pet, this will also stop your pet from becoming a dangerous projectile.
Having your pet secured in a pet carrier or harness will also keep your pet from jumping up on you and causing an accident.
Riding in a vehicle can be exciting or frightening for a pet. The scene is changing constantly. If something outside the vehicle startles your pet, he might jump up onto you. Keeping your pet secured will help you avoid a distracted driving accident.
What can I do if my pet and I suffer injuries in an accident?
Even if you obey all traffic laws and ensure your pet is safe and secure, not all drivers are so careful. If you and your pet suffer injuries in an accident, we can help you get the compensation you deserve. We might even be able to get compensation for your pet depending on whether the insurance policy covers pets.
For help with your case, call the Law Office of Jason R. Schultz, P.C. to schedule a free consultation: 404-474-0804.