According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, over 84 million households in the United States have at least one pet. It is estimated that nearly 20% of pet owners travel with their pets, with many opting to hit the road in their own vehicles.
However, the reality is that accidents involving pets can have serious consequences. Unsecured pets can cause distractions for drivers and can even become a projectile in the event of an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 60,000 accidents each year are caused by unsecured pets in the car. And of those accidents, a significant number result in injury or death to both pets and humans.
To help avoid such tragic incidents, it is important to follow the dos and don’ts of traveling with pets.
DO secure your pet in the car. Options for securing your pet include using a pet seat belt, a travel crate, or a pet barrier. These products are designed to protect pets in the event of a sudden stop or collision, and can help prevent serious injuries to both pets and humans.
DON’T allow your pet to ride in your lap while you’re driving. In addition to the distraction it poses to the driver, pets can be seriously injured or killed if they are thrown from a moving vehicle in the event of an accident.
DO make sure your pet has proper identification. If your pet becomes separated from you during your trip, having proper identification can increase the chances of being reunited. Make sure your pet’s collar has up-to-date contact information and consider microchipping your pet as an added safety measure.
DON’T leave your pet alone in the car. This is especially important during hot weather, as temperatures inside a car can quickly rise to dangerous levels, even with the windows cracked. If you need to make a stop, take your pet with you or have someone stay in the car with them.
DO pack a pet travel kit. This should include food, water, medications, and any other items your pet may need while traveling. Also, bring along a favorite toy or blanket to help your pet feel more comfortable in unfamiliar surroundings.
DON’T feed your pet while the car is in motion. This can cause your pet to choke or become nauseous, leading to vomiting and discomfort during the trip.
In addition to these dos and don’ts, it is important to be aware of the potential consequences of unsafe pet travel. Injuries to pets and humans can range from minor cuts and bruises to more serious injuries such as broken bones, head trauma, and even death.
If you or your pet are injured in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention right away. And if the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages. That’s where Marasco & Nesselbush can help. Our experienced attorneys have helped countless clients recover compensation for their injuries, including those caused by car accidents involving pets.
Traveling with pets can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it is important to take the necessary precautions to keep both pets and humans safe. By following the dos and don’ts of pet travel, you can help prevent accidents and injuries, and ensure that your furry companions arrive at your destination safely. And if the worst does happen, Marasco & Nesselbush is here to help.