Drivers Are Putting Lives At Risk By Not Strapping Their Dogs Into Their Cars

Posted in Connect on May 10, 2019.


A recent survey showed nearly 90% of all motorists who regularly travel with their pets had been distracted by their animal when driving.

A further 11% had nearly crashed into the vehicle in front because of the distraction. Paris Hilton started a fashion trend with her Chiwawa pursepooch Tinkerbell so in many cases dogs are becoming a Fashion Accessory and are carried on their person or displayed in their vehicle.

Pets car travel safety is a major concern. There are serious dangers with unrestrained pets that travel in the car. An unrestrained dog or cat in the car during travel can be a hazardous distraction to a driver. Even if your pet is well behaved in the car, you still have to consider your pet’s safety should another driver cause you to slam on your brakes or get into a collision.

A 27 kilogram dog riding unsecured in a vehicle will become a 1224 kilogram projectile if a wreck happens at just 55 Kilometres per hour – a bad-news reality for the dog and for the humans in the car, in some cases Insurance claims can be invalidated if pets are not safely restrained in the vehicle.

A high percentage of people don’t use safety restraints or crates for their pets when they’ve got them in the car.” Any passenger can be a distraction for a driver, we need people to belt up the whole family, including the pets,” said road safety officer Noel Gibbons.

“Dogs are such an important part of people’s lives so it’s understandable that owners want to take them out and about with them.

However, the survey shows many people don’t know the safest way to travel with their dogs and some are even unwittingly breaking the law by letting their dogs roam around the car whilst they are on the move.”

For the fact is, we have heard from way too many emergency workers about an unhappy cascade of horrors that often occurs when an unsecured pet travelling in a vehicle is involved in a collision. Not only can there be significant injuries to the animal and the people in the car, there’s frequently a second wave of awfulness.

Mr Damien Feeney paramedic said ” Maybe the dog escapes through a broken window and dashes into traffic, causing more collisions and very often getting killed. Or maybe the dog, hurt and scared, gets protective of its human and won’t permit the emergency workers into the vehicle to assist, sometimes going so far as biting.”

Whether it’s a local trip or a lengthy drive, here’s how to ensure that car journeys are comfortable and safe for your dog.

We all know that it’s vital for drivers and passengers to wear seat-belts. But did you know that dogs also have to be restrained when in a car?

The law recommends using either a seat belt harness, a crate, a pet carrier or a guard.

“It’s important to restrain dogs in the car both for their own safety and that of everyone else.”

If you have room in your estate car boot for a dog crate, this can be the best way to transport your dog.

If you’re going on a long trip with your dog, then exercise them well before you set off. If they’re tired, they’re more likely to sleep on the journey.

Bring water, and you should stop every few hours when travelling with your dog. They’ll need to stretch their legs, drink water and relieve themselves – don’t forget the necessary bags.

Many drivers have found themselves in tricky situations if they haven’t properly restrained their pets.

Most of us know that you shouldn’t leave your dog in the car on a warm day. But the RSPCA are still called out to help thousands of dogs a year that are trapped in parked cars.

Many people don’t realise how quickly temperatures can rocket inside a parked car. According to the RSPCA, if it’s 22 degrees outside it can reach up to 47 degrees in a car within the hour.

“The campaign is sponsored by Petworld, where pet owners are reminded to make sure that not alone are all humans safely belted up in the vehicle before they make their journey, but all pets are safely belted up also. Petworld locations can be found in Athlone, Mullingar, Portlaoise, Tullamore, Santry, Nutgrove and Tallaght in Co. Dublin, and two locations in Galway City Co. Galway. There are also Petworld stores located in Horkans Garden Centres in Turlough Co. Mayo and Sligo Co. Sligo, where pet owners are reminded to make sure that not alone are all humans safely belted up in the vehicle before they make their journey but all pets are safely belted up also. Mr John Horkan, Managing Director for Petworld said “We take the safety of pets and pet owners seriously at Petworld and have built up an extensive range of essential products for every pet owner, from seatbelt harnesses to window vents and more.”

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