New York, NY — Before you let your pets roam free in your vehicle the next time you head to the dog park, you might want to think again. According to AAA, unrestrained pets cause over 30,000 accidents annually, reports the New York Daily News.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that 5,474 people were killed and 448,000 others were injured in 2009, as a result of distracted drivers in the U.S. All too often people become distracted as their pooch roams around the vehicle, and sometimes they even try to crawl into your lap.
At this time only eight states require drivers to restrain their dogs when they are in an open area of the vehicle, like the bed of a truck. In Rhode Island, an unrestrained dog can cost you $85 for the first offense, a $100 fine for the second offense and a $125 fine for subsequent offenses.
Progressive offered some tips to help keep your furry friend safe while in the car:
• Don’t allow your dog to ride with their head out of the window. Flying debris can easily injure your dog.
• Get your pet used to the car and make them feel comfortable, so they wont get nervous and roam around while you're driving.
• Make sure your pet has proper identification, just in case your pet gets lost while traveling.
• Prepare a doggie bag with food, water and toys to keep them busy.
If you want to go the extra mile, Progressive offers insurance to protect your dog (or cat) in the event of an auto crash, which can pay out up to $1,000.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for New York personal injury lawyers.