When you have a pet that you love to take around the city or state, you will probably take them with you in your car from time to time. If you do, you should know that it’s possible to get in trouble for having your pet unrestrained even though no specific law discusses having your pet restrained while driving.
Why can you get in trouble? If you cause an automobile collision or are driving recklessly because your pet is unrestrained in your vehicle, then you could face distracted driving or reckless driving citations.
Why restrain your pet in your vehicle?
While you might like having your pet ride in the front seat or sit with you unrestrained, the reality is that this is extremely dangerous for you and your pet. If you get into a crash, your pet will not be restrained. They could be thrown from the vehicle or severely injured in the impact.
On top of this, if your pet is in your lap when an airbag goes off, there is a real risk that they could be badly hurt or killed. You could be severely injured as well.
Having a pet unrestrained in your vehicle is distracting, too. You might take your hands off the wheel to pet them or to place them somewhere different while you drive, and that means that you’re not 100% focused on the road.
What should you do if you’re going to travel with your pet?
It’s best to put your animal into a safety seat of some kind. Crates, seat belt adaptors and safety seats are all available on the market today. They’re designed for cats, dogs and animals of other kinds so that they can be safely restrained during travel. Many of these safety devices are designed to be comfortable or to give your pet space to sit or lay down, but they also have restraints to prevent them from being thrown in a crash.
Restrain your pet. If you’re hit by someone who hasn’t, then know that they could be held liable for their negligence and allowing a serious distraction into their vehicle.