If you are like many dog owners, just saying, “Want to go for a ride?” is enough to spark wild joy and “zoomies” in your dog. While this is not universal, most dogs love to take a ride with their owners, whether it’s a cross-country road trip or across town to the dog park.
But is it safe to drive with an unrestrained dog in your vehicle? As it turns out, it’s not.
Dogs should not ride unrestrained
Just as it is not safe to drive with a child crawling around or sprawled out on the back seat, neither is it safe for your dog to hang out back there unrestrained. Should you need to brake sharply, your dog could become a projectile hurtling toward the front seat. This could result in serious injury or death to your beloved pet or injuries to the driver or passengers.
Loose dogs in the car can be a distraction
Your dog may love to hang its head out the window and enjoy the fresh air, but this is not safe. Unrestrained dogs have been known to jump out of speeding vehicles and be killed on impact. Another driver could hit your dog or swerve to miss it and get into a deadly accident.
But even if nothing that dramatic occurs, your dog can hang its head over the seat and stick its face into your line of vision. It could jump down off the front seat and get down between your legs, interfering with your ability to work the brake and gas pedals. In short, a dog can dangerously distract you from the task at hand — driving safely on the road.
Were you struck by a distracted driver?
If you get hit by a driver who had their dog loose in the vehicle, it is quite possible that their pet distracted them and contributed to the accident. A personal injury attorney can review your claim and guide your decision on how to proceed.