A lot of pet owners inadvertently put their pets, themselves and others at risk when they take the animals in the car.
Most parents would never dream of letting their child travel unrestrained in the car. Yet many pet parents still feel it is OK to allow their pets to move freely about the vehicle. They might even consider it cruel not to let them.
Pets need to travel in a special harness or in a suitable cage that is strapped down. Anything else is unsafe. Here is why:
Pets can get thrown about if you brake suddenly or are in a collision
Picture a husky on the front passenger seat, its nose out the window, taking in the rush of scents on the breeze. Now picture a pick-up slamming into the opposite side of the vehicle. The force might be enough to send the dog through the window and crashing into the pavement in a fall they won’t survive.
If the crash is on the side the dog is sitting on, it might send the animal flying into the driver. Not only would it hinder their ability to steer, but it might cause them serious injury, especially if the dog hits them square in the head.
A dog secured in a cage that is, in turn, tied down to the seat, or one strapped into a transport harness, might still suffer serious injury or death in a crash. Yet the chances are far less, and by being secured in one place, they are not going to injure anyone else.
If you are injured by a driver whose pet was unsecured, you should also bear in mind that the pet may have contributed to the crash. If you get legal help, you may be able to argue that the owner was paying attention to their animal rather than the road.