It’s very common to see unrestrained pets in cars. You may see a dog with its head hanging out the window, for instance, something they are notorious for enjoying. You may even see someone driving with a pet on their lap. At some point, you stop thinking of it as strange, and many pet owners travel with unrestrained animals all the time.
The truth, however, is that doing this is very dangerous. It’s dangerous for the pet, which could be severely injured in a crash, and for those in the car, who could be struck. But it’s also dangerous for everyone else on the road, as pets are a major distraction and they do cause accidents.
Most owners do not use restraints
When pet owners are asked if they use restraints in the car, a full four out of five say that they do not. It’s clear that most people do not do it and do not even really consider it that dangerous.
It can be, though. A dog jumping onto a driver’s lap can knock its hands off of the wheel. A dog barking at something outside of the car can become a severe distraction and may startle the driver. Even when the animal does not touch the driver, that driver may turn around to tell the animal to quiet down or even to physically hold onto it to keep it out of the front seat.
Have you been injured in a crash?
When you’re on the road, you want to know that the people around you are paying attention and taking your safety seriously. If they’re not, and if you get injured in a wreck, you may be able to seek compensation.