How can I Drive Safely with My Pet on a Long Car Ride?

Posted on: August 25, 2021

If anyone is planning on taking their pets on the road with them for a road trip or a long car ride, there are some requirements that need to be addressed. It is strongly suggested that pets do not ride in the front seat in case of a car accident. In the case where the front seat is the only option, it is recommended that the seat is pushed as far back as it can go. Other things to remember are to drive gently and as safe as one can when their pets are in the car. Also important is to plan stops for bathroom breaks and eating so that the pets are as comfortable as possible while in such a restricted area. Some pets may get very nervous in the car and have anxiety, so it is important that owners do everything they can to make their pets feel safe.

What Should I Pack When Bringing a Pet on a Long Car Ride?

  • Restraints to keep the animal safe such as a carry cage, pet seat belts, or harnesses
  • Portable food and water bottles to ensure they are comfortable and hydrated
  • Collar, poo bags, and a towel in case the pets paws get muddy or need to be cleaned before coming back into the car
  • If traveling with a cat, an appropriate cat carrier

What Should Drivers Do if They are Going to be on the Road for a While?

When the time comes to make a stop, it is important to allow any traveling pet to stretch their legs and walk around. Drivers should take the time to stop in a spot where dogs can walk around a little bit and use the bathroom. If traveling with a cat, motorists can clear space in the back seat or trunk for them to walk around and use their makeshift litter box. A makeshift litter box can be easily assembled and broken down when done right. It is important to pack plastic bags when traveling with pets. By lining a box with a plastic bag, it will make for easy litter box clean-up. When the plastic bag is over the box, it should be filled with enough litter so that none is wasted. Once the pet has used the bathroom, the owner can simply pull the plastic bag off and all the litter will be contained in the bag and easy to throw away without making a mess in the box or in the car.

Can Driving with the Window Down be Dangerous?

Every owner knows the joy that their dogs get from sticking their head out the window and having the wind flow while they stick their tongues out. Although this may be cute to watch and enjoyable for the dogs, it can be dangerous. There have been times when dirt and gravel have blown in the eyes, mouth, and ears of pets while they stuck their heads out the window. Another factor to consider is the pets who have the urge to jump. Some dogs get very excited and have jumped out of the window or even fallen out because they leaned over too far, or the window was completely down. This is especially dangerous for smaller dogs that can fall right out or be swept from the strong wind. Not only is this dangerous for pets, but also it is a distraction for the driver. If an owner wants to their pet to enjoy an open window, it be safer to leave the window open only a crack. This way, there is no risk of anything flying into the car to harm the pet or any way for them to be able to fall or jump out.

Can Pets Get Overheated While in the Car?

When taking a pet on a road trip or long car ride, it is imperative that the driver keep the air conditioning on for the whole ride. This ensures the safety of the animals health while in a small space, especially during the summertime, and will prevent any animal from overheating. If for some reason the driver or owner needs to leave the car, the pet should never be left in the vehicle alone, with the windows rolled down, or the car turned off. This is a form of animal neglect, and if someone sees the pet and breaks the window to save them from the heat, that the damages may not be covered by insurance.

Can a Pet be Added to the Owners Car Insurance?

It depends on the provider or car insurance company. Any type of pet coverage for car insurance is not considered a legal requirement.

What Should be Avoided When Driving with Smaller Pets?

Although it may seem more relaxing or comforting for owners to drive with their smaller sized pets on their lap, it is dangerous. By allowing one’s pet to sit with them as they drive, it leaves room for distraction and possibly getting into a car accident. Even the most well behaved pets could possibly move around, make noise, or accidently touch controls while sitting on the drivers lap or so close to the controls of the car. There is a chance pets may act out because they are in a small space, frightening by being in the car or just need to exercise their bursts of energy. It is recommended that smaller pets should be secured in a carrier and that carrier should also be tied down and secured. In the case of larger pets, it is suggested that they wear a harness meant to be connected to a seat belt so they are strapped in it because securing a larger pet while driving is a legal requirement. There are companies that make foam-padded seats for pets to sit in that will attach to any cars seat belt so that the pet is comfortable and at ease.

Hazlet Car Accident Lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova Help Victims of Car Accidents Recover

With the proper precautions, traveling with your pet should be pleasant and uneventful. However, if you have been injured in a car accident, reach out to the Hazlet car accident lawyers at Mikita & Roccanova. The safety and security of our clients is our top priority. Our legal team can help you understand your rights and work tirelessly to secure you the compensation you deserve. Call us at 732-705-3363 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Hazlet and Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County and Sussex County, and Pennsylvania.