Driving In Cars With Dogs - Safely
If you're a pet parent hitting the road for the holidays, chances are you'll be faced with a set of puppy dog eyes, just begging you to let them ride shotgun. While it's hard not to smile at the sight of a happy dog sticking her head out the car window while the wind tousles her ears, it's important to remember that one of our cars' most crucial safety features - the air bags - were not designed with dogs or cats in mind. And a recent study revealed one in five drivers admitted to driving with their pets in their laps.
Even in low speed crashes, air bags can deploy at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour. This degree of force can cause serious, even fatal injuries to a pet, even if the pet is in a crate. In simulated crash tests, popular pet carriers placed in the front seat and properly secured were crushed by the vehicles' airbags. Some of our patients have been injured by deploying airbags. One suffered a shattered scapula. The injury permanently altered his gait, which ended his show career. He was one of the lucky ones. When driving with pets, make sure they are not only properly secured, but safely ensconced in the back seat.