5 unsafe practices when driving with your pet

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents, Personal Injury |

Any distraction that takes your focus off the road, no matter how endearing, can be fatal. Sometimes, you do not even have to look further or think deeply to lose your driving concentration. All it takes is a moment of reaching for your pet to figure into a tragic accident.

According to a recent observational study, one out of six Georgia drivers divert their attention from the driving task. While most of these cases involve the use of mobile phones, an equally risky distraction is manually interacting with your pet.

No standardized state laws are preventing you from bringing your pet for a ride. However, it will help to be extra vigilant of your driving behavior when around them. After all, if you treat your dog or cat like an extended family member, you will always want to keep them away from danger.

Avoid unsafe practices

Georgia has extensive seat belt regulations, but none particularly prohibit unrestrained pets in moving vehicles. Despite this, a Volvo and Harris Poll research indicates drivers are likely to be more distracted when their pets are freely roaming inside the vehicle.

Without the security of seat belts, harnesses or crates, your pet can move in ways you may not have fully prepared for, making for deadly outcomes. Aside from failing to buckle them up, you must also not:

  • Allow them to sit in your lap: Your pet’s erratic behavior may cause them to make sudden movements, like jumping or leaping out of excitement.
  • Give them food, water or treats: You may pull over to properly feed them at the nearest rest area.
  • Play with or stroke them: You may schedule an appropriate time to stop for walking, playing or restroom breaks.
  • Tie their leash on a truck bed: Without a crate system suitable to their age, weight and height, relying on a leash can result in loss of balance, choking, severe injuries or death.
  • Take photos or videos: As tempting as it is to document every second, the precious images or reels can wait.

Despite your purest intentions as a pet owner, you still have a duty as a responsible driver. In comparison, other drivers might not be as careful as you are on the road. Ultimately, it will help to be on the defense by observing preventive measures as strictly as possible.

Make rides with your fur companion safe and fun

A safe and fun driving experience with your pet requires discipline. Focusing on the road can be easier if your furry friend is securely on their seat. However, in an unfortunate vehicular incident, your legal representative can guide you in recovering necessary financial compensation for your injuries and other losses.