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Monday, March 28, 2011

Unrestrained risks

While strolling down a country road during the summer of 1999, author Stephen King was hit by a weaving van that almost took his life. As King describes in his memoir “On Writing,” a distracted driver had reached into the backseat of his van trying to push his Rottweiler away from a cooler containing meat. The out-of-control van struck the famous writer head-on.

This scenario is not that uncommon. Dog owners often take their beloveds with them when tooling around town, running errands and even on long road trips. And most often the dogs are free to move about in the vehicle. According to Paws to Click, a movement that promotes safe pet travel, unrestrained pets result in more than 30,000 auto accidents per year in the United States.

Think about this: In an accident of only 30 mph, a 60-pound dog can cause an impact of 2,700 pounds, slamming into a car seat, a windshield or another passenger.1

Shocked and scared
After a crash, when every moment is precious, unrestrained pets can attack or otherwise impede emergency medical personnel from reaching critically injured persons. Dogs thrown out of vehicles during or after a collision may be shocked and disoriented and prone to attack passersby. They may survive the initial crash and then bewildered, wander into moving traffic or onto a highway causing another accident or their own demise.

Protect yourself; protect your dog
Endorsed by Bark Buckle UP, a leader and expert in pet travel safety, pet seat belts are the preferred pet safety product. They constrain dogs from distracting the driver and protect pets from being thrown after a collision. Other popular restraints include:

Hard-sided pet travel crate
Pet vehicle seat
Soft-sided pet travel crate
Vehicle pet barrier
Remember, if your dog is near you while you’re driving, he or she can interfere with both your physical and mental ability to operate your vehicle. Learn more about smart driving with your dog at Bark Buckle Up. Traveling together is fun; keep it safe.


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