Auto insurance

Furry friends shouldn’t ride shotgun

Wednesday, July 19, 2017by  PEMCO Insurance

Maybe they ought to start making cars with pup holders. ​girl-driver-and-dog.jpg

In our latest PEMCO Northwest Poll, about half of Northwest drivers admit they've driven with an unrestrained pet in the car, and about one-third have allowed pets to roam free or sit on their laps when they're behind the wheel.

That despite the fact that 43% of drivers in Washington find their pets more distracting to drive with than their kids! (Oregon drivers considered it a toss-up.)

It's just hard to resist those please-take-me-with-you eyes. (Humor columnist Dave Barry once said, "Dogs feel they should always go with you in the car in case the need should arise for them to bark violently at nothing right in your ear.")

Even though it's not a primary offense​​ to drive with an unrestrained pet, it's still a Milk-Bone® headed idea, with potentially tragic consequences. In a 30-mile-per-hour crash, a 60-pound pet (think boxer or Labrador retriever) can slam you with 2,700 pounds of force, resulting in serious injuries – or worse – for you, your beloved pet, and anyone else in the car.

Safety experts consider a well-ventilated carrier buckled into a car's backseat as the gold-standard pet restraint. But if locking your fuzzy buddy in a crate seems unthinkable, a dog safety harness that attaches to your car's rear seatbelt is another good option.

Check out more tips to keep your pet safe on the road, and see our full "driving with pets" PEMCO Northwest Poll, in which Seattle's FBK Research surveyed 1,200 Washington and Oregon residents.

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