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How can I Drive Safely With My Pet?

August 2, 2021


It is common to see people driving around with their pets, so it may be surprising to learn that many pet owners are unaware of how to safely travel with their animals. Having a pet secured properly in a vehicle not only keeps the dog or cat safe, but it can prevent a distracted driving accident.

Many states have laws that make it illegal to travel with a pet who is not safely secured because having an unsecured pet in a car will most likely distract the driver and cause a car accident. All pet owners should know how to safely travel with their companions. Listed below are ways to drive safely with a pet.

Have a Crate in the Cargo Area

Perhaps the safest way to travel with a pet is to have them secured in a crate in the cargo area. There are several options available to purchase from, depending on the size and weight of the animal. Pet crates will also have straps available, so the crate itself does not slide back and forth. Not only does a pet-friendly crate provide adequate protection for a dog or cat, but it will also minimize distractions for the driver.

If a crate is not available or a pet is not comfortable being enclosed in a crate, there are gates or barriers pet owners can purchase to separate the cargo area from the passengers. This keeps good airflow in the cabin for the animal while also keeping them from distracting the driver. Many modern vehicles are equipped to accompany pet barriers.

Use Seat Belts or Harnesses

If the cargo area is not available or a viable option, the next best pet travel solution is a seat belt harness. A harness can secure a pet into the seat to keep them in one area and to limit distractions. Buyers should be beware that some belt harnesses may not fit well enough to hold a pet in place.

It is also possible to travel with a pet in the front cabin area if they are secured with a proper belt harness. When doing this, drivers should be mindful about how the front airbags would impact the pet in the event of an accident. Most front passenger seats now have sensors installed that will turn on the front airbag when a certain weight limit is exceeded. Some manufacturers rate their sensors as low as 40 pounds. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to not travel with a pet in the front seat. A deployed airbag would likely seriously injure or kill an animal in the front seat.

Even if a pet is properly secured for a car ride, it is important to understand the dangers of leaving a pet unattended. Even if the temperature outside is comfortable for humans, the temperature inside a car with the windows up can reach unbearable conditions for animals.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. Help Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

Driving a vehicle with a pet that is not properly secured can be distracting, which can cause an accident. If you were injured by a distracted or negligent driver, then contact the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Nerenberg Law Associates, P.C. immediately. Call us at 215-569-9100 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.