Pets are an extension of our family. We Americans spend $41 billion annually on our pets. We love them as much as every member of the family and we treat them as if they were humans. We regularly take them to the Vet to be sure they’re healthy; we provide healthy food and a safe shelter; in short we love them. It only makes sense that we would want them to be safe in our vehicles too.
So, what if you’ve had an accident and your pet is injured? Since legally, pets are considered to be property and not people, it is wise to assist the injured pet immediately. For instance, if the pet were to die, the owner has lost property and that results in increased liability. Bottom line is that you want to keep your pet as safe as possible at all times. The Department of motor vehicles offers tips for keeping your pet safe in your vehicle.
- Don’t let your pets (especially cats) roam freely in your vehicle
- Never let your dog sit in the front seat
- Never let your pet sit in your lap
- Don’t let your dog ride with its head out the window
In addition to the above tips, pet restraint systems are considered to be the number one pet safety product. Restraint systems are endorsed by the national Bark Buckle UP as being the best safety product as it keeps the pets from distracting the driver, protects your pet from being thrown around the vehicle during the accident and ensures that your pet will not run away from the accident.
Statistics show that pet distractions cause accidents. This can happen in a variety of ways – barking, sudden movements, motion sickness or blocking the driver’s line of sight to name a few. But it’s not always the pet’s fault. AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s survey found that 59% of the people surveyed admitted to at least one distracting action while driving with their pets. For example, 55% admitted to petting their dogs while driving; 20% allowed their dogs to sit in their laps; 7% gave their pets food and water while driving and 5% played with their dogs while driving.
Those are sobering statistics that should frighten all of us. Don’t let your pet be a statistic – drive safe and follow pet safety rules while driving!