Furry Co-Pilots

Animals are the ninth-ranked cause of driver distraction according to the analysis presented in California’s new legislation, which attempts to eliminate driver distraction. Carting your pets around with you while you run errands might be a way of life for you and your pet, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, California is being proactive by making it illegal for drivers to allow pets on their lap while operating a motor vehicle. While this may seem harsh, it’s really about the safety of you, your pet and other drivers on the road.

It can be distracting when your pet is jumping back and forth from the back seat to the front seat. Maybe your dog sits on your lap and puts its head out the window and barks at the cars whizzing by. Either way, it’s not the safest situation. Regardless of whether you live in California, there are ways that you can protect you and your pet on your next car trip.

Always be prepared when you are traveling with your pet even if you are not going far. Keep a few bottles of water in your back seat along with bowls and extra food. You might have to make extra trips or you might get stuck in traffic, especially if you live in the city.

Train your pet to be well behaved when traveling in the car. It’s natural for dogs to get excited when they know they are going for a car ride, but teach them to sit and listen to you. Put your dog in the car while it’s still in the garage for practice and make your pet sit either in the passenger seat or in the back seat. Keep treats in your console so you can reward your pet for listening.

For extra safety, you can purchase a doggie car hammock or car seat that fits in the back of your car. This provides them with a comfortable space so they don’t feel like they need to get in the front of the car with you. Car seats can better protect them in case you get in a car accident too. Also it’s not a good idea to keep your windows rolled down all the way. You never know what might entice your pet enough to make them want to jump out the window.

Being able to run errands and go on vacation with your pet enables you to form a special bond, so it’s important to protect your trusty co-pilot.

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