Shropshire drivers who allow their dog to travel with its head out of the car window could be breaking the law.
That’s the warning from Martin Pitchford, who said not only was the dog’s safety at risk, but the driver could be invalidating their car insurance too.
“Allowing your dog to travel with its head out of the window may seem like a fun thing to do, but it could actually cost you your licence.
“The Highway Code says drivers need to ensure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you’re driving, or injure you, or themselves, if you stop too quickly. The law recommends a seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or a guard as ways of keeping your pet safe while you drive.”
Mr Pitchford said motorists who ignored the rule could also be risking their insurance cover too.
“If you don’t keep your pet secure and an animal roaming around your vehicle is believed to have contributed to causing an accident, your insurers may well refuse to pay out on a claim.
“If this happens, you could be made to pay for any damage to your car and to any other cars involved, as well as any medical or other costs that are incurred, which could easily add up to a sizeable amount.”
Insurers have advised owners to act responsibly when it comes to travelling with their pet in the vehicle, and have offered some tips on how to stay safe:
- If you’re travelling with a dog, try to take it for a long walk before you travel to burn off excess energy
- Don’t feed your pet for 2 hours before the journey
- Restrain your pet securely with a harness, crate or guard
- Keep the vehicle cool
- Plan regular breaks during the journey
- Keep your dog hydrated with plenty of water