Did you know that there are only around six states in the country that require pets to be in harnesses while they’re in a moving vehicle? Driving with pets in your vehicle can be extremely dangerous for you, them and others on the road.
In a collision, pets that are not restrained are more likely to be thrown inside the vehicle or ejected from the vehicle completely. They are more likely to be killed upon impact with no seat belt to hold them back.
They are also more likely to cause distractions that could lead to a collision. For example, if your dog suddenly wants to jump into the passenger seat while you’re driving, you could have a problem if they kick you or put their tail in your line of vision.
Pennsylvania has no law against unrestrained pets in vehicles
As of April 2020, Pennsylvania had no laws against unrestrained pets in vehicles, though laws have been proposed. Even though this is the case, remember that people cannot be distracted while driving. If they are distracted by anything, whether it’s a pet, a cell phone, a passenger or because of rubbernecking, then they could be found at fault for a crash if they cause one.
What can you do to be safe if you want to drive with a pet?
If you need to travel with your pet, it’s important that you take steps to restrain them in the vehicle. This is for their safety and yours.
For smaller dogs, there are several safety harnesses and car seats available on the market. These often attach full-body harnesses to seat belts, so that the dog, cat or other pet is restrained in the case of a collision or sudden stop.
For larger dogs, full seat covers, crates and seat belt harnesses are available on the market. Any of these will help keep them in one area of the vehicle and prevent them from becoming a distraction.
Pets may need to be in your vehicle sometimes, but they can cause distractions. If you are struck by someone who has a pet with them, that distraction may have been one factor in your car crash.