Whether you have a cat, dog, snake, or any other kind of animal, of course you love your pet. Unfortunately, while your pet at home provides a great source of companionship and fun, in the car the same animal can be a danger.
Pets cause distracted driving and collisions in Hollywood and across South Florida every year. Unfortunately, this causes injuries not only to drivers and passengers but also to pets and even innocent bystanders. For this reason, you want to use these tips to keep yourself and your pets safe, whether you’re driving to the vet or going on vacation with your favorite nonhuman companion:
- Keep your pet contained: The safest way to travel with your pet is to place your pet in a pet carrier. This prevents the animal from running over the interior of a vehicle and causing a distraction or even getting under the brake and gas pedals. A good carrier strapped into the back of the car can also ensure your pet is not thrown about during an accident. Make sure the carrier is the appropriate type and size for your animal. For dogs and cats, it can be comforting if the area is familiar and smells familiar. Some pet owners place a worn sweatshirt or a pet’s favorite blanket in the carrier to keep them calmer.
- Talk to your vet: If you are taking your pet on a road trip, speak to your vet first. Your pet may need vaccinations, especially if you are going across borders. Your vet may also have advice for how to travel safely with your pet and how to reassure them. Your vet even may be able to offer solutions to keep your animal calmer during travel.
- Pack smart: Your pet may need to take bathroom breaks during the trip. Pack a bag with everything your pet needs, including bedding, wipes, extra blankets, paper towels, snacks, water, and more. This way, if there is an accident on the road or you need to pause and give your animal a break, you have everything at hand to help.
- Make sure your pet is micro chipped: One of the dangers of travelling with an animal is that the animal may get away when you open the door or the cage. Make sure your pet is micro chipped and your address and contact information is updated with the system so you can find them if they do become separated from you during your travels.
- Have someone else in the car responsible for the pet: If possible, travel with a companion who can look after the pet and attend to the pet’s needs. This allows you to fully focus on driving and ensures the pet is less of a distraction.
- Pull over if you need to adjust something: Whether it’s a bathroom accident or a need for water or just caterwauling or barking, pull over if you need to look around and check on your companion. Never look and reach back “just for second” to adjust the cage or to try to fix something. Those few seconds can cause a collision.
- Schedule more rest stops and breaks when travelling with a nonhuman companion: Dogs, cats, and other animals need more breaks than a human during travel. Make sure you schedule additional stops for bathroom breaks, snacks, and other needs. This way, you can get to your destination without having to worry that you’re behind schedule.
If you are injured by someone who is driving recklessly, contact Flaxman Law Group at 1-866-352-9626 (1-866-FLAXMAN) for a free consultation with a Hollywood car accident attorney. Our team can answer your questions, help you find a rental car, and take care of all the details as well as representation so you get a fair chance at securing compensation for injuries, medical cost, and other damages. Your first consultation is free and comes with no obligation.