It wasn't that long ago when jumping in the car for a jaunt, no matter how short or long, we didn't consider reaching for the lap belt. Then along came the shoulder belt, and finally today's combined lap and shoulder belt. With the advances in technology providing safer but faster cars came new laws designed to protect motorists – the required use of safety belts is now in effect for most states.
The use of child restraint systems is mandatory in all states, and it is only a matter of time before similar laws will be adopted for pets. The intent will be to protect the pet, but more importantly to prevent them from causing a distraction to the driver, a more serious problem than most care to admit.
Ergonomically engineered interiors of today's vehicles are designed to keep the driver's focus on the road. We're all too familiar with the controversy surrounding the use of cell phones while driving since they invariably distract the driver. Anything that diverts a driver's attention, even for a fraction of a second, can cause a hazardous situation.
Traveling with pets in your car in an unsafe manner can be very distracting and potentially more dangerous than an unaware cell phone user. If they are not properly secured within the vehicle they have to compensate for the car's motion. We are held secure by belts and a bolstered seat, they are not. If you travel with your pet loose in the vehicle you know that bumps, turns and hard stops cause you to immediately reach for them. This can adversely affect your reaction time when you may need it most.
It's easy to put an end to the worry about pets in cars, especially our small dogs. Why wait for laws to mandate the security you can, and should, be providing today? The Lookout car seat is a great way to help secure your pet in the car. It raises your pet offering them a view and should always be used with the proper car harness. A simple safety harness specifically designed for pets riding in vehicles can offer protection on a large scale for both of you. A Car Vest Harness is designed to secure your pet when you have to stop quickly or are involved in an accident. Using a collar or non-auto style harness can be fatal or cause serious injury.
Once you've equipped the proper combination of restraints in your vehicle, you'll never want to ride with your pets loose again. Putting a little dog on your lap, or sitting loose on any seat is exposing them, yourself, and those around you to unnecessary risk. The best placement for the Lookout car seat is in the middle back seat. If this is not possible and they need to ride up front in the passenger seat, it is very important to deactivate the airbag if your make and model allow this. An airbag deploying in the face of a small dog should be avoided. Don't be afraid to take your pets with you, however, be SAFE!