You Have Your Seatbelt On, But Does Your Pet?
When you have your pet in the car you might not think about having them restrained. However, it’s not only important for their safety if there is an accident, but also to restrict their access to going in the driver’s seat area and causing a distraction. Some states even will fine you if your animal isn’t properly being transported. In most states, if your pet causes you to crash, it is considered distracted driving. Pet car safety is an important topic that most people don’t think to discuss.
Pet Restraint Types
There are different restraint types for your pets. If you are using a crate when driving with your pet, make sure it is crash-tested and safety-certified. They are more expensive but worth it to protect your dog in case of a crash. Another option is a pet seat belt harness, it can work in or out of the car and some can fit dogs weighing as little as 6 pounds or as big as 150 pounds. It’s not as restrictive as a cage but pets will still be safe in case of an accident. It also restricts them from opening power windows on accident or jumping out.
If you rather not have your cat or dog restricted to a seat belt you could also block-off the front seat from the back seat with a pet travel back seat barrier. While this isn’t as safe for the pet if there is an accident, it protects the pet from projecting forward and prevents them from causing an accident. For smaller pets, you can use a pet car seat carrier that your pet sits inside and that is connected to a seat belt securely. For small pets they also have car seats with a harness that connect to the seat just like a child’s car seat would.
Pet Traveling Tips
If your dogs and cats are not restrained, or are still able to reach windows with their restraint, turn off the ability to open power windows. This will prevent them from being able to open the window and decrease the risk of them jumping out or getting their head stuck in the window.
Another tip is to make sure you have water for your pet during a long trip and take breaks for them to stretch their legs, eat and go to the bathroom. It’s a good thing for both pets and people to take a break in driving.