Auto Safety for Pets

Traveling with pets in one’s vehicle should be viewed in the same light as traveling with small children. Dogs and cats are just as susceptible to injury as young children, and the proper safety gear to protect them during a collision should be put into place by responsible pet owners. The majority of pet owners do not travel with their pets in the car very often; however, it only takes one collision, for example during a simple trip to the vet or to a local family member or friend’s house, for the damage to be done. The animal carriers that are typically used to transport pets offer no real protection for the animals in the event of an accident, and very few cars come with built-in safety features to protect our furry friends.

Some cars are much better equipped than others when it comes to pet transportation, however. Families with large numbers of pets and those who consistently bring the pets along on family vacations year after year should be very discerning in the type of vehicle that they choose. Among the highly rated vehicles in this category are SUVs and minivans. Extremely conscientious pet owners can consult the Consumer Reports website to see the details on what vehicles scored well in the pet transport rankings. It is also worth asking you veterinarian what suggestions he or she might have in this regard; many vets also do animal transport as part of their services and will have a good idea of the types of vehicles that work well for this purpose.

The majority of vehicles that will provide adequate safety and comfort for pets on the road will have some common features, including ample cargo room. Hatchbacks and station wagons tend to excel in this area. Pets also need to be able to get a good grip on the floor while the vehicle is in motion in order to avoid injury and fatigue, as well as the possibility of stress and anxiety and motion sickness. Pets generally do not have the ability to understand the movement of a car that they are inside; this can cause them to become distressed, which can be exacerbated by being unable to find purchase on the ground beneath them. Vehicles whose cargo bay is lined with plastic liners made specifically for this purpose are a big plus.

If you are forced to work with the vehicle you currently drive while trying to provide your pet with protection on the road, then there are plenty of aftermarket add-ons to consider. There are car seats that are designed specifically for cats and dogs. These devices typically tie into the seat belt mechanism, although they are often only suited for smaller animals. For larger and more rambunctious pets, take advantage of pet harnesses and restraints. These devices will allow the animal the freedom to move around their space but still provide them security in the event of an accident. There are a number of other containment products, as well as accessories that can help you keep your pet comfortable for longer trips, such as water vessels that are travel-friendly and food storage that allows the dog to eat. Large pets can pose a threat to themselves and the other passengers in a car when a collision occurs. Studies have revealed that a pet weighing up to 60 pounds can become a projectile moving with the force of 2,700 pounds at speeds of only 35 mph.

Like any other passenger in a vehicle, pets have the right to be protected from injury, especially in light of the fact that they have no control over the occurrence of accidents. Should your pet be injured in an accident that is not the owner’s fault, they can have the same protection under the law as humans when one utilizes the right auto accident attorney. The medical bills at the veterinarian’s office can pile up as quickly as those at any hospital. Many insurance companies offer pet-specific policy add-ons that can be of help, but even if you have not paid the additional charge to cover your pet, there are certain protections in place to give you peace of mind in taking care of your pet after an accident. Allow an experienced auto accident attorney to lend a helping hand when your family’s constant companion is in need. Such legal professionals have the expertise to contend with insurance companies as well as navigating the existing law regarding damages and how it may apply to your pet.

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