We love our furry friends, and it’s no surprise that we often take them on rides with us. However, driving with pets can pose a significant distraction and safety concern. According to a survey by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and Kurgo, 29% of respondents admitted to being distracted by their pets while driving. So, how can you ensure the safety of both you and your pets while on the road? In this blog post, we will discuss some essential tips for driving safely with your pets.
1. Restrain Your Pet
If you’re driving with your pet, it’s vital to ensure they are restrained while in the car. Too often, pets are allowed to roam freely, which can result in dangerous distractions. The safest way to restrain your pet is by using a pet seatbelt, carrier, or crate. Ensure that your pet is comfortable and that they cannot move around the vehicle while driving. By limiting their movement, you can avoid accidental distractions that could cause an accident.
2. Don't Let Your Pet Ride Shotgun
Many pets may love to ride shotgun, putting them in an unwittingly dangerous position. An airbag can deploy ahead of your pet, seriously injuring them, or they may even distract you by obstructing your view. For this reason, it’s best to have your pet ride in the backseat of your vehicle, allowing for full visibility of the road ahead. If your pet must ride in the front, ensure the airbag is turned off beforehand.
3. Avoid Feeding Your Pet Before the Journey
It might be best to avoid feeding your pet just before you embark on your journey. Some pets can get car sick, and a full stomach can worsen this. Instead, feed your pet a few hours before you set off and bring along some light snacks that they can munch on during rest stops. Just remember to keep the portions small and manageable. This way, you’re less likely to deal with a messy situation in the car while you’re trying to focus on the road.
4. Take Frequent Rest Stops
Pets can become anxious when traveling long distances in confined spaces, so it’s important to take frequent breaks. Stopping at a rest area and allowing your pet to stretch their legs is critical to a safe and relaxing journey. Taking a break can also prevent your pet from getting restless and fidgety in the car, resulting in distractions that could cause an accident.
5. Keep Your Car Cool
Pets can become overheated quickly, which can result in heat exhaustion or even heat stroke. Ensure that your car’s air conditioning is working correctly, and always be sure to bring water and a bowl so that your pet can cool down and stay hydrated throughout your journey. Never leave your pet in a hot car, as it can be fatal if left for extended periods.
6. No Paws Out the Window
While it may look cute and fun, having your pet’s head or paws sticking out the window is extremely dangerous. One sudden movement or bump in the road could result in your pet being thrown from the car, possibly leading to injuries or even death. Keep all windows and doors closed, and use the air conditioning to ensure your pet stays comfortable and safe.
7. Pack a Pet Travel Kit
Prepare a pet travel kit to ensure your pet remains comfortable and their needs are met throughout the journey. The kit should include essentials such as a leash, waste bags, food, water, a water dish, treats, and any necessary medications. Also, consider packing their favorite toy or blanket to provide a sense of familiarity and comfort. Having these items readily available can help alleviate any travel-related stress for your pet and allow you to focus more on the road.
Driving with your pets can be an enjoyable experience when done safely and responsibly. By following the above essential tips, you can ensure your pet’s comfort and safety while also mitigating any possible distractions to keep yourself and other drivers safe. Remember that your pets’ lives and those of other drivers on the road are in your hands, so always drive responsibly!