The mistake you’re probably making when you’re driving with your dog

Driving with your dog in the car is a necessity sometimes, whether you’re taking your furry friend to a vet appointment or on a road trip to visit family and friends. But how often do you strap your dog into the car?

New research by car company Ford has found that almost half of us are putting our lives at risk, as well as those of their passengers and other road users, by not strapping your dogs in the cars when driving with them.

driving with your dog
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After carrying out a pull of 1,000 dog-owners who drive, the researchers saw that 45 per cent do not secure their pets every time they drive. As a result, experts estimated that if a car crashes at a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph), an unrestrained dog can develop projection forces 40 times that of its weight.

The Ford survey highlighted that 29 per cent said their dog ‘doesn’t like being strapped down’ or crated during a drive, and a further 25 per cent claimed that it was ‘pointless’ on a short journey. Another 17 per cent said they could not fit a dog crate, which is recognised as one of the safest ways to transport pets, into their car.

driving with your dog
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Additionally, the study also found that 35 per cent of dog owners have been distracted by their pet when they’re meant to be paying attention to the road. In fact, a total of 37 per cent of drivers who do not restrain their dogs have let their pets stick their head out of the car window while in motion.

‘Most people would be heartbroken if anything ever happened to their beloved dog – and nobody expects to crash,’ said Ford engineer, Rene Berns. ‘But it is vital that, for everyone’s benefit, full safety precautions are taken when transporting our four-legged friends.’

He continued: ‘I know how much it means to me to be able to take Emil [his Australian Shepherd] with me wherever I am going, and I’m proud that he has helped make that easier for other dog owners and their pets to travel safely and in comfort.’