Pets in the car. Are you safe?

The McAllisters recently welcomed little Mazi, their new pup, to the family. With all the excitement surrounding this little furball, we thought it would be a good time to review pet travel safety.
In a recent survey by the American Automobile Association (AAA), more than 80% of dog owners drive with their pets in the car. There are 43.3 million households with pets, so it’s an impressive number of people traveling on the road with animals. Of those who travel with animals in their car, only 16% of those people use proper safety restraints. So, as you can see, the potential for distraction is high … very high. 

Restrain your animal with a crash-tested pet safety product. According to the National Safety Council, more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions are reported every year, making them the most common type of automobile accident. An unrestrained 10-lb dog will exert 300 pounds of pressure in an accident, according to the AAA. Without a crash-tested safety restraint, your pint-size pooch can injure passengers and become severely injured on impact.

According to dmv.org, not only should animals be restrained, but they should never travel in the front of the car. Keep your animal in the back seat or the cargo space if you drive an SUV. The front passenger airbag is designed to prevent injury to an adult human. These airbags could cause a significant amount of harm to an animal.

Animals should never be left in a vehicle for an extended amount of time. The State of Illinois now has laws that prohibit you from leaving an animal in a vehicle for an extended period without proper ventilation or other protection from heat and cold. Reference the State of Illinois’ Humane Care for Animals Act (510 ILCS 70/7.1) for more information.

Now that we’re entering into the spring/summer months, traveling with your pet may require a bit of planning.  Keep them and your family safe this season, and enjoy the ride!

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