Nothing signals summer like the sight of a dog hanging its head out the passenger window of a passing vehicle, tongue lolling as it sniffs in the breeze. While it might bring a smile to people’s faces, it could end up bringing tears. Dogs can be dangerous when they travel unsecured in vehicles. Here is why:
Their movements and noise can distract the driver
Is Penny the poodle barking because she wants a snack or because she needs a bathroom break? It could be one or both, but the one sure thing is her owner is not giving her full attention to the roadway as the owner turns around to determine.
Even Charlie the spaniel is not beyond blame when he sticks his head out the window. His long ears blowing in the breeze might look funny, but anything moving around close to the side mirror makes it harder for the driver to notice other vehicles in that mirror. A cyclist who gets knocked off their bike because of this will not find it amusing.
They can take flight if the vehicle suddenly slows
A driver might need to slam on the brakes to avoid a rear-end collision or because they notice a red light a bit too late. If the dog is not secured in the vehicle, it could be launched in the air, injuring someone or obstructing the driver’s controls. Such an event would surely not be good for the dog either.
Drivers should consider using dog seatbelts, putting their pets in an adequately strapped-down container, or placing them in the back behind a metal division. While the dog might prefer this, drivers must do all they can to preserve human life and reduce the chance they cause a car crash.