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Americans and their pets are senselessly injured or killed in accidents because they are not informed or neglect to utilize pet travel harness. Every 18 minutes an accident occurs due to a loose pet in a vehicle; 30,000 accidents are caused by dogs in the front seat.

Many drivers simply command their pets to jump into the backseat, the cargo bed of a pick-up, or onto their lap. They don’t let their kids move freely about a moving vehicle, so why a pet? Yet, we see it all the time; a dog sticking his head out the window. Although your dog may love the air on his face, it can be dangerous to his health. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (ASPCA), not only could he be struck by flying debris, but it could damage his inner ear and even expose him to lung infections. An unrestrained pet can also be a dangerous distraction. If the dog is sitting in the driver’s lap, darting back and forth across the seats, or riding loose in the back of an open pickup truck, the pet is not safe and neither is the driver or other motorists on the roadways.

A moving dog can be thrown violently if you are in an auto accident or stop suddenly. An unrestrained 10-pound dog will exert 500 pound of force in an auto accident at 50 mph. Even a low-speed accident can cause injury to unrestrained dogs. They can also hit the windshield, be suffocated by an airbag, or be thrown from the vehicle.

A roaming pet can be a dangerous distraction to a driver, too. A sudden sniff of your ear or lick of your nose can be all it takes to divert your attention from the road. The ASPCA recommends using restraints on dogs and cats to prevent harm to the animals, the driver and other passengers. Pet restraints include harnesses, hard- or soft-sided travel crates and vehicle seats. For the most protection, crates should provide only enough room for your pet to stand and turn around.

By limiting the movement of your animal you will greatly reduce the likelihood of an accident; in the event one does occur, chances are it won’t be as serious. Next time you hit the road with your pet, make sure they, and you, are as safe as possible.

Would you like to help raise awareness of the danger traveling with unrestrained pets and how one click helps protect you and your family? Would you like to see an increase in product safety standards? Join Paws to Click and help inspire every pet owner to travel responsibly with their pets.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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