How should I travel with my pet in the car?
Posted on 3rd April 2019 at 16:54
It can seem obvious: don’t let your pet distract you whilst driving. Unfortunately, according to research carried out by Direct Line, 22% of vets revealed that an animal travelling in a vehicle without the proper restraints, was the most significant cause of the animal’s injury, or death.
Travelling with pets in a vehicle is covered by Rule 57 of the Highway Code, which states that “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”. According to a leaflet produced by Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, which you can download here, if a 50lb Border Collie is travelling un-restrained in a car which is driving at 30 miles per hour, if the vehicle had to make an emergency stop, the dog would be thrown forward at a force as great as that of nine 12-stone males. Not only is this dangerous to the driver and passengers, but this could cause serious injury (and even death) for the animal; which is not something that any loving pet owner would want!
What are the repercussions if my dog is not properly restrained?
Well, for a start, you could be fined up to £5,000.00, as well as gaining points on your licence, and having the added stress of potentially invalidating your car insurance, so if you have been in an accident and another driver in making a claim against you, you could be liable for paying the full damages of the claim (which, Solicitors in Preston explain, are not costs limited, as the damages awarded depend entirely on what injuries the driver or passengers obtain).
What are my options for restraining my pet?
Well, as suggested by RoSPA, you may decide to restrain your pet with any one of the following:-
A zip-up bag (like a pet carrier, which people can use for the vet trips).
Travel Crate or Cage (which you can buy from most pet stores).
Dog Guard – a common choice which acts as a barrier between the backseats of the car and the boot, giving your pet the entire boot-space.
A Safety Harness – a bit like a regular harness, this harness attaches to the seat belt in your car, and goes around the dog’s shoulders and chest – securing them into your seat.
What are the costs?
The costs of the different options vary, depending on the device used and the size of the dog, but you can get Harnesses for less than £10.00. If you’re happy to break the bank, crates can increase in prices to over hundreds of pounds, but it should be easy to find an option to suit your budget. After all, what you are spending initially, you could save in vets bills and fines.
If you’ve been in an accident, and you and your furry friend has been injured, contact Solicitors in Preston, who specialise in Road Traffic Accident claims, on 01772 783 314 or complete our enquiry form, here.
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