Why you should always secure your dog during any drive

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We came across a press release from https://cheapquotesautoinsurance.com/ which stated that one of the most common reasons people get their car insurance cancelled is because they don’t secure their pets.

“Drivers should ensure that the pets are properly secured in their places,” relates the release. “Drivers that get involved in car accidents without having their pets secured will get their policies voided.”

Well, this got us to thinking about the many times we have seen people driving with dogs who are clearly not secured and are either hanging their heads out of the window of the car or are in the back of a pickup truck (a practice which always makes us wince as we have heard from veterinarians who have treated many a dog who has decided to jump out of the back of a moving truck and sustained serious injuries even though the owner thought their dog would never do such a thing.)

We had never really considered the insurance risks, but it definitely makes sense, especially in light of the research we did. First, driving with a dog can take the driver’s attention away from the road. According to a survey sponsored by AAA and Kurgo Pet Products, 29 percent of respondents admit to being distracted by their dog while driving.

AAA also reported that “a pet restraint system can aid in limiting distractions and help protect your pet.”

Second, in some states, it’s already the law. In Connecticut, for example, dogs being transported in an open truck bed must be in a crate or cage, or otherwise secured. Connecticut doesn’t yet have a law requiring dogs to be restrained while inside a vehicle but drivers may be charged under existing distracted driving laws if they drive with a pet in their lap, according to news.orvis.com. Dogs being transported in an open truck bed must be in a crate or cage, or must be secured to prevent them from falling, jumping, or being thrown from the vehicle.

To check whether restraining a pet in the car in a requirement in a particular state, you can go to this site: https://news.orvis.com/dogs/does-your-state-require-dogs-be-harnessed-in-the-car

Third, dogs (and other animals) that aren’t secured can be injured in the event of an accident or even cause injury to others. According to The Puppy Traffic School,  If unrestrained, a 10-pound dog will exert about 500 pounds of force in a collision at 30 MPH. An 80-pound dog will exert around 2,400 pounds of force under the same conditions.”

For these, and other reasons as well, including dogs who stick their heads out of windows can end up with painful debris in their eyes, securing dogs with a safety harness designed specifically for car travel or in a crate seems like a very good idea.