Yup. That's right, as much as your dog sticking head out the window is adorable and goofy it's going against the Highway Code:
When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.
A lot of people are unaware of this rule and what is surprising is that 1/4 motorists who own dogs, break the law by not securing their dogs in with a seat-belt or other form of restraint. If you do drive without your animal restrained you risk losing your license or ,if you have an accident, invalidate your insurance meaning you'll have to pay for any damage to your car and any other cars involved and any medical costs on top of that; This can rack up a lot of money very quickly.
An outstanding 1/10 dog-owning motorists don't even consider a dog being loose to not actually be a driving hazard, where as it may not only cause you an accident but also harm the dog in the process. Over 4% of pet owners have had an accident or a near miss as a result of a free roaming pet in the car.
While you may feel you know how your dog behaves in the car, nobody can predict what might happen round the next corner or how your dog would react in or after an accident. The best way to ensure the safety and security of everybody in your vehicle when travelling with your pet is to make sure it is properly restrained, by whatever means you prefer.
Real Life Story (From RAC)
Pet owner Matthew Evans was involved in a multi-car accident on the motorway whilst travelling last summer on a camping holiday at the seaside with his four-year-old son and his dog.
Matthew said ‘Our dog Barney is a German Short Haired Pointer. He is our prince and we worship the ground he walks on. We never really understood the importance of pets being restrained in the car with a safety harness or crate until we were involved in a pile-up on the motorway and Barney got hurt!
“Barney damaged his paw after falling forward from the back seat down into the footwell. He was sad whilst it was bandaged up as he couldn’t put any weight on it. Our vet told us we were lucky as he has seen much worse car safety accidents with pets.
“Just like we strap our four-year-old little boy into his car seat, we don’t ever set off in the car now without Barney’s travel safety harness or crate.”
If you are an accidental offender and want to amend your mistake then make sure you buy a harness for either your dog or your cat, today: