RAC report finds many pets are not transported safely

Thu, 31 Jul 2014

The RAC has warned of the danger of having a dog loose in a car while driving, after a survey results found that a quarter of dog owners don't restrain their pets during journeys.

Four percent of animal owners have been found to have suffered an accident or a near miss as a result of their dog or cat being free to roam around inside their vehicle.

"As a nation of dog and cat lovers, it's surprising we give so little consideration to safety when they are being transported. Unsecured pets in moving vehicles are a real danger, not only to driver and passengers, but to themselves," said a spokesperson for the RAC pet insurance branch.

An unsecured animal can not only cause an accident and be a danger to the people in the car by distracting the driver, but they can also be injured themselves. Even without colliding with anything, a sharp or emergency brake can cause an animal to be thrown through the windshield.

About 25% of owners were found in the survey to use some form of seatbelt, leash or safety harness to protect their animals, while 15% have a transport cage they use for safety.

It was also found that cat owners were much less likely to take their pets in the car, and when they did, were much more likely to restrain their pet than a dog owner would. This is possibly because it is easier and less effort to put a cat in a transport box than it is to restrain a dog.

It is strongly advised to restrain your pets when on the move for the safety of both of you, reducing the risk of an accident and to prevent your pet from becoming injured.

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