The do’s & don’ts of driving with your pet in the car

It's a form of distracted driving you probably haven't considered

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Next time you go for a ride with your pet, you may want to think twice. Having a loose dog in the car poses a big risk to their safety, and yours. “So many accidents can happen; the dogs can either get out or fall out.”

22News spoke with Dakin Humane Society‘s Lee Chambers about what you should and shouldn’t do if you’re traveling with a pet. She said, “The number one answer to the question, ‘Where should you keep your pet’ is definitely not in your lap, and definitely not in your front seat.”

In the front seat, pets can be thrown into the windshield, or hurt by an airbag in an accident. And sticking their head out the window runs the risk of debris getting into their eyes and irritating their lungs. Pets could also distract you, and interfere with your gas and brake pedals.

One thing you definitely don’t want to do, if you have your pet in the car, is put them on a leash. If this gets caught on anything, it could pose a serious choke hazard.

So what should you do? Chambers said, “Crates and carriers are also made to go into cars. A smaller dog certainly that’s easier or a cat, if you’re transporting your cat somewhere.”

In Massachusetts, driving with a loose pet in the car is considered “distracted driving” and you could be charged with distracted driving if there’s an accident.