Trips to the Vet: How to Keep You and Your Pet Safe


Nobody enjoys having to take their beloved pet to the vet; not only does the visit likely stress your pet out, but for many pets, the car ride there can be just as daunting. Unfortunately, nervous or over-excited pets in cars can post a serious danger to drivers and other motorists, which is why understanding these dangers and taking measures to avoid them yourself is so important.

Potential Dangers of Driving with Pets

Why is driving with an unrestrained pet in the car so dangerous, anyway? For starters, consider the temperament of your pet when he or she is in the car. Some pets are content to lay in the back seat and enjoy the ride, but this is generally the exception and not the rule. Many pets become nervous, agitated, or over-excited when they're in the car. They may dash back and forth across the back seat in an effort to look out the windows, or they may even try to make their way into the front seat. Either way, these actions can pose a dangerous distraction to drivers.

For bigger pets, such as larger breeds of dog, this can also create dangerous obstructions in view for the driver. Your dog, in an effort to look out the window, may be blocking the view of your vehicle's blind spot and putting you at greater risk of getting into an accident.

When pets are nervous or anxious in the car, they may also try to force their way onto your lap or even onto the floor near your feet. Of course, when you're driving, this can be extremely dangerous—especially if your pet ends up on the floor and accidentally sits or steps on the gas or brake pedal while you're driving.

Invest in a Carrier or Restraint for Your Pet

Even on a short trip to the vet, it's always a good idea to have a safe carrier or restraint for your pet. For smaller pets, such as cats and smaller breeds of dog, a simple hard-sided carrier is the best way to transport. For larger pets, there are actually car seats and other types of restraints that will allow you to keep your pet from roaming around or making their way up to the front seat. Gates that span the width of the vehicle work well to keep a pet within the back area of an SUV. However, when your pet is loose in that space, they could be injured in an accident. With use of any of these methods of restraint, you can minimize distractions and keep both you and your pet as safe as possible as you make your way to the vet.

What About Other Drivers?

Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of other drivers—which is why you will likely still see people driving with their pets in their laps or running amuck in the back seat. These are the types of distracted drivers that you need to watch out for and avoid as much as possible on the road to avoid an accident.

Of course, avoiding run-ins with these types of drivers isn't always possible. If you end up in an accident as a result of a distracted driver and their pet, it's important to seek legal guidance right away so you can determine the best course of action and potential legal recourse. Specifically, meeting with an experienced car accident lawyer is the best step you can take following an accident. A free consultation can provide you with the guidance you need to move forward and potentially claim recovery for any medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and other related expenses.