Safety restraints for your pets could save their lives.
If you are involved in a
whilst transporting an unrestrained animal it could be seriously
hurt, or injure other occupants of the vehicle.
Travelling at 30mph (48kmh) an animal
weighing 50lb (23kg) will be propelled forward with an
equivalent force to nine 12stone (76kg) men. Pets which are not
restrained during car journeys can also be the cause of
road accidents by distracting the driver.
If something should startle your pet however
well behaved it may be it could jump to the drivers lap or feet
increasing the risk of
If you are unfortunate enough to have been
involved in a road accident an unrestrained pet could escape and
run into the road and be hit by another vehicle, or cause others
to have an accident, or attack people who may be trying to help.
When travelling with your pets always ensure
that they are safely secured in a pet carrier, a seatbelt
harness, a travel cage or behind a dog guard, the pets needs
should determine the most suitable restraint. Pet Carriers are
suitable for cats, small dogs and other similar sized pets.
They should be secured using a seatbelt or
by wedging them into a foot well. Under no circumstances should
they be placed in the boot of a saloon car where they could
suffocate, and as with hatchback and estate boots they will not
be secured and will be thrown around, especially in an accident.
Seatbelt harnesses are suitable for medium and large dogs, one
which fixes to the vehicles integral seatbelts is usually best.
They should go around the dogs chest, back
and shoulders and be fixed to the vehicles own fastened
seatbelts. When purchasing a harness ensure that it is suitable
for your dogís weight and size and fits correctly not allowing
your pet to become tangled up. Wide restraining straps are best
as if you are involved in an accident the animalís weight is
distributed across a larger part of your animalís body. Travel
cages are suitable for larger animals including dogs, but you
should ensure that it is the correct size for your pet. Cages
can usually be secured to anchor points in the boot of
hatchbacks or estates but again should not be used in the boot
of saloon cars. In the car, seatbelts should secure the travel
cage, not forgetting to allow good ventilation so your pet can
breathe. Dog guards keep your pet away from the driver but will
not protect it in a
car accident. If you are required to transport a pet in an
emergency, perhaps because it is injured, a sports bag or
shopping bag may be used providing it is big enough, and allows
it to breathe normally. These bags s
hould be secured using the vehicles
seatbelts. If you need to transport a dog on an open backed
vehicle it should be in a suitable cage that is secured to the
vehicle. This stops it being thrown or leaping off the vehicle,
and should help to stop objects blowing into the animalís eyes,
ears and mouth. Pets should be in their carriers before you
reach the vehicle, apart from dogs which should be taken to and
from the vehicle on their lead before being secured.
Always use the door on the pavement side for
entering and exiting the vehicle.
you are involved in accident whist transporting your pet
always be sure it has calmed down and that you are in safe
surroundings before removing it from its carrier.
If the accident is serious call a vet. Don't
transport your pet where an active airbag could go off. Don't
let your pet put it's head out of the window.
Is your pet covered by insurance if you need
to make a
car accident claim? The
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
provides advice on many kinds of road safety issues.