The Importance of Safely Restraining Your Pet While Driving

Published on Jun 4, 2024 at 6:47 pm in Car Accidents.

When it comes time to travel on the road, you might want to bring along your pet. While having your dog, cat, or other animals roaming around the vehicle may seem fun, it can pose a great safety risk.

Sometimes, animals behave unexpectedly when exposed to other vehicles, the noise of the car, or other stimuli. In turn, this could cause them to get nervous or panic during the trip. Even if your furry friend is well-behaved, leaving them unrestrained could cause serious injuries in the event of an accident.

Let’s not forget that a loose pet is a major distraction to any driver.

At Peterson Law Office, we know that distracted driving can lead to serious consequences on the road. For that reason, we want to state the importance of safely restraining your pet while driving.

Keeping Your Pet Restrained Protects Everyone in the Vehicle

When traveling on the road, you want to keep everyone safe. If a pet is unrestrained, it can cause injuries during a sudden stop or accident. In fact, according to a BarkBuckleUp study shared by Consumer Reports, a 60-pound dog traveling at just 35 mph can turn into a 2,700-pound projectile in a crash. For that reason, you will want to restrain your pet while traveling in a vehicle.

You might not think about it, but airbags can kill pets in the front seat. While they are an important safety feature in cars that help protect humans in case of a collision, they pose a risk to animal companions. When an airbag deploys, it can cause serious injuries to your furry friend. If you restrain your pet, it needs to be kept in the backseat.

While you might want to allow your dog to put their head out the window, that is another safety risk. Debris on the road can cause eye, nose, and mouth injuries. Plus, there is always the possibility of them jumping out of the moving or stopped vehicle. Restraining your pet will make sure that it stays put at all times.

Fortunately, there are many different types of pet restraints on the market. Whether you use a seat belt harness, crate, or a different kind of device, you need to make sure your furry friend is secure in the vehicle.

A well-secured animal can help prevent injuries to both the pet and passengers in the vehicle. Along with that, these restraints can prevent your companion from escaping in the event of an accident.

Distraction Prevention

Distracted driving is dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 3,100 people were killed and about 424,000 were injured in distracted driving incidents in 2019.

While you might think texting or talking on the phone are the most common distractions, having a loose pet in the vehicle is another type of activity that takes your focus off the road. Since the animal is not restrained, they can easily move around the car. Sometimes, they may even get in the way of essential controls like the steering wheel, gear shift, or pedals. As a result, the driver can lose focus or inadvertently accelerate or brake, for example, leading to accidents.

Keep in mind that some animals may get overly excited or nervous by a car ride. When you place them in a crate or harness, that gives them a comfortable and safe environment. You will not have to worry about constantly checking on them when you know they are properly restrained in the vehicle.

Possible Liability and Insurance Issues

While some states have specific laws about unrestrained pets, Kentucky is not one of them. However, failing to restrain your animal while driving can be used against you in court to prove liability in the event of a wreck.

This form of driving could be considered reckless driving. If your pet is loose in the car and distracts you or obstructs your view of the road, it could lead to a crash. Under these circumstances, if the accident causes injury or property damage, you can be liable to pay for the losses of the other driver, passengers, or pedestrians affected by the collision.

If you have an unrestrained pet in your vehicle,  it could pose implications from an insurance perspective. Your insurer may deny your claim if your furry friend caused the accident. In turn, you may be left to pay for the damages out-of-pocket.

While it might seem fun to have your dog or cat in your lap or in the front or back seat, unrestrained pets can quickly become a safety hazard. Not only can they cause an accident, but they can also put your furry friend’s health at risk. So, when it comes time to take a drive, make sure to buckle up yourself and your beloved animal companion.

 

Legal & Firm News

What Are the Elements of Negligence in a Personal Injury Claim?

A lot of personal injury claims can become quite complex early on in the process and one of the main reasons for this is the need to prove negligence. Proving negligence caused an accident can be the deciding factor in the success of some cases, such as in a wrongful death claim, or if the […]

Read More

How Are Noneconomic Damages for Mental Anguish Calculated?

Two assessments occur with any severe accident: Who is at fault, and what will the remedy be for the victim? That reward is where the concept of pain and suffering comes into play. Compensation for an injury encompasses physical and emotional trauma. It is easy to assess the medical expenses, but how are noneconomic damages […]

Read More

The Importance of Safely Restraining Your Pet While Driving

When it comes time to travel on the road, you might want to bring along your pet. While having your dog, cat, or other animals roaming around the vehicle may seem fun, it can pose a great safety risk. Sometimes, animals behave unexpectedly when exposed to other vehicles, the noise of the car, or other […]

Read More