When Louisiana residents get in the car to run errands, they may sometimes bring their pets with them. While many people enjoy their pet’s company, they may not consider what might happen to their pet if another vehicle hits their car. It is important for people to understand how they can keep their pets safe if they are involved in a collision.

Many people regularly bring their pets on errands. According to Pet Pro Supply Company, one survey found that more than 80 percent of pet owners typically bring their dog on car rides. Most of these pets usually do not wear harnesses or sit in a crate. The same survey reports that a pet restraint is used by roughly 16 percent of dog owners.

While some people may think their dog does not need a seat belt, it is important to remember that the impact of a collision may move a pet. If moving pets collide with people, the force of this impact can sometimes reach 40 times the weight of the animal. This means that a dog that weighs about 10 pounds might exert up to 300 pounds of pressure, and larger dogs can generate even more pressure. If pets collide with people during an accident, both the animal and the person might sustain serious injuries. 

People can usually protect their pet by taking safety precautions. American Humane says that people should make sure their pets sit in a crate or use a restraint during car trips. Some people may want to install a barrier in their car so their dog can ride safely in one part of the vehicle. Additionally, it is a good idea to make sure pets do not ride in the bed of a pickup truck. Because pets may sometimes be distracting, people should make sure their dog does not sit in the front seat or on their lap. This can help ensure that a dog is not the cause of a collision.