Pet owners traveling to the groomer, veterinarian, or pet boarder transport their pets in cars. Pets are safest when they are restrained, however, there are few laws requiring drivers to restrain their pets while driving. States that have pet restraint laws are often unspecific, requiring that some type of restraint be used for transport, which is open to interpretation by drivers. Animals in cars should be restrained not only for their own safety, but for the safety of the driver and all others on the roadway. When a driver takes their eyes off the road or their hands off the wheel to tend to their pet, they can lose control of the vehicle and cause a serious collision.
Driving Safely with Pets
Pets, unlike human passengers, can be unpredictable in the car. According to Pet Auto Safety, drivers distracted by their pets cause more than six million car accidents in the United States each year. Dogs love to ride with their heads out of the window, but if a dog jumps from an open car window, the dog can potentially cause a collision that injures human drivers and passengers.
It is recommended that pets be properly restrained when they are in the car. Small pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, small dogs, and cats should be kept in pet carriers. Larger dogs that cannot fit comfortably in pet carriers should be restrained on seats with pet-friendly seat belt adapters, which can be purchased at pet supply stores. According to a study conducted by the American Pets Product Association, 56 percent of respondents travel with their dogs at least once per month. However, only 16 percent reported using pet restraints while traveling with their dogs.
Drivers should never transport pets in truck beds. This is very dangerous for pets and can lead to animal and human fatalities. According to the American Humane Association, approximately 100,000 dogs suffer fatal injuries from riding in truck beds each year. In New Jersey, drivers can also face fines for not restraining their pets properly. If a New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals officer reasonably believes a driver is not transporting an animal properly, they can write the driver a ticket and charge them with a disorderly persons offense under the state’s animal cruelty laws. Tickets for improperly transporting animals range from $250 to $1,000.
Camden County Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Represent Victims of Distracted Driving AccidentsDistracted drivers are dangerous to others on the road and to themselves. If you are suffering from an injury sustained in a collision with a distracted driver, work with an experienced Camden County car accident lawyer from DiTomaso Law to pursue the compensation you deserve. Fill out our online form or call us at 856-414-0010 today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.