Car Safety for Pets

With the holiday season quickly approaching, many of us will be traveling to visit family and friends. In case your pet joins you on the trip, it is important to know how to travel safely with them in the car. Unless restricted from freely roaming the vehicle, pets can cause a major distraction for the driver. They are also at a much higher risk for injury, especially in the event of an accident, if they are not properly secured inside the vehicle.

Pets should never ride in your lap since this can result in distraction leading to an accident. They also have no protection from being crushed by an air bag deploying. Pets should also never ride in the bed of a truck. They could easily be thrown out during a wreck or if you are forced to brake suddenly. When pets are not secured, they can also become a dangerous projectile, able to cause injury to other passengers in the vehicle.

The most secure options for pets are crates, safety harnesses, and car seats. If using a crate, place it in the center-most part of the vehicle and make sure it is unable to move or topple over. Safety harnesses are now available specifically designed for pets. They are typically attached to the existing seat belt buckle or latch system. The harness portion is designed to be comfortable and secure without being too restrictive. Car seats are particularly good for small dogs or cats, providing them a safe, raised spot to ride while being able to see out the window.

So, whether you are traveling across town or across the country with your pet, be sure they are carefully secured inside your vehicle to ensure a safe arrival for everyone!