Everyone has seen dogs stumbling about in the beds of pickup trucks and expressed an opinion about it. But did you know that several states have laws about dogs being loose in the bed of a truck? These drivers could face stiff fines for their carelessness. Several more states have established laws governing the restraint of animals in companion car seats for the safety not only of the animals but the people. Distraction from dogs being in the car is one of the main causes of automobile accidents. Here are the facts.
New Jersey was the first state to adopt restraint laws for animals traveling in cars. Hard upon New Jersey’s heels came Connecticut, California, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Nevada, Washington, Oregon and Rhode Island with legislation of their own. New Jersey’s fines range from $250 to $1,000 per infraction, with the rest of the states charging between $200 and $500 for animals not in companion car seats. Detractors argue that the law infringes upon the freedom of the driver, but these people should look at the figures. Thirty-one percent of drivers polled said they were distracted by their dogs when they were driving, and 20 percent polled drove with their dogs on their laps. Hawaii has laws strictly prohibiting driving with a dog on your lap. In Arizona, Connecticut and Maine, distracted-driver could be applied to tickets for drivers with dogs on their laps.
We’ve all been cut off and had to slam the brakes on to avoid hitting the car that cut us off. If anything was in the car, it either landed on the floor or was thrown into the front seat or hit the windshield. It’s not so bad when it’s a box of KFC for supper, but when it’s a carpet cleaner, that could spell a hospital visit for the driver and/or a passenger. Think how much worse it would be should the projectile be a dog. A small dog could fall on the floor, but s/he would be rattled and possibly injured. A larger dog weighs more. The trajectory of his/her fall could knock out the driver or a passenger, causing an auto accident. A ten pound dog traveling in a car doing 50 mph in an accident hits the driver with 500 pounds of pressure. Companion car seats keep our furry buddies from becoming projectiles, causing an accident that could mean the end of a life.
Laws governing children in car seats are in effect to protect the lives of our children. Adults wear safety belts to protect them from injury. Cars are machines that can do untold damage in the hands of distracted drivers. How much more sense does it make to restrain our dogs in companion car seats? Even if it infringes upon the rights of pet owners driving cars, it saves lives and not just human ones. How important is your pet to you? If you get it shots, natural foods and take it to animal playgrounds, why wouldn’t you protect its life from an accident? Contact us at Animals Matter® for more information in addition to our line of animal accessories for your pet’s comfort.