Taking your dog along for a ride in the car can be a lot of fun, especially if you have a pup-pleasurable destination in mind.

Regardless of where you’re going, your automobile insurance agency wants to point out that proper pet restraint and safety should be a priority whenever you bring your four-legged friend with you.

Pay attention to these travel safety tips when riding in your vehicle with your pets to keep everyone safe and avoid incidents that could have you calling your car insurance company for help.

Pets in the Car - A Driving Distraction

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of accidents that car insurance agencies see on a daily basis.

Among the many distractions that drivers deal with while they are driving, pets rank as a big one, especially if they are unrestrained.

A survey conducted by AAA even indicated that half of all drivers have a dog in their vehicle with them some of the time and of those, 17 percent let their dog sit in their lap, 13 percent have fed treats to their dog while driving, and some drivers admit to even playing with their dog while driving.

Pets moving around the vehicle, sitting in the driver’s lap, or doing other things that take attention away from the road are unfortunately a common cause of accidents that happen when there are pets in the car.

Therefore, reducing distraction by restraining pets is a very important factor that car insurance providers point out to pet owners.

Pets Can Be Seriously Injured In the Car

Besides the significant driver distraction pets create, your pet could also be seriously injured in your vehicle if not safely restrained.

Not only is your pet at a great risk of injury if involved in an accident, automobile insurance agencies find that just stopping short could be dangerous.

Untethered pets can easily become flying projectiles, injuring themselves and you as they are thrown about inside the vehicle.

Proper Pet Restraint Makes Car Travel Safer for Everyone

When it comes to traveling in your vehicle, car insurance providers suggest that you treat your pet the same as you would your child.

Safely restraining them in a way that they will prevent them from becoming injured decrease driver distraction is essential and some states have even made doing so the law.

Car insurance agencies suggest that like your children, your pets should ride in the back seat to avoid serious injury during an accident.

This is especially important considering because airbags are designed to protect humans; deployment can cause fatal injuries to pets.

If possible, pets can also ride in the rear hatch area of the car so long as they can be restricted from climbing into the front of the vehicle.

The best ways to safely restrain and contain pets in the car include:

  • Pet Carriers or Crates - Cats and other pets should be restrained to a pet carrier, including smaller dogs. Larger dogs can be contained with wire crates or larger pet carriers if space permits. Smaller pet carriers set on the rear seat should be securely strapped to prevent them from sliding off the seat just as you would attach a child car seat.

  • Pet Seatbelt Harnesses - An option especially for larger dogs if no crate is used is a pet seat belt. These adjustable harnesses are designed to provide safe protection while in the car and install into the car seat belt system. Your pet is comfortable yet secure, cannot move around too much, and safely restrained in the event there is an accident.

  • Car Divider Barriers - Metal or fabric barriers that contain pets in the back of the vehicle are also safer than giving your pet complete freedom. Although they could still be injured if thrown around in an accident, barriers that prevent pets from climbing into the front seats or keep them contained to the hatch area are great for reducing driver distraction.

Always Travel Safely With Your Pet

Car insurance companies know that pets are just as much our children as are our real children.

As important as our pets are to us and considering the danger they can present while in the car, it’s critical that you travel safely with yours.

Avoid that phone call to your automobile insurance agency or a trip to the vet by keeping your pet safely contained and restrained in your vehicle no matter where you are going.

Remember that car safety is just as important for animals as it is for people!

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