Hands up those of you who have seen dogs travelling in front seats unrestrained, with their heads out of the window. It is not an uncommon sight. Which is why I was not that surprised to read how former EastEnder’s actor Todd Carty had a close shave when one of his pugs jumped out of his car and was nearly killed after it ran under a 4×4.
Todd later admitted that if his pug had been restrained, this would not have happened. He is now campaigning for a law forcing dogs to wear seatbelts, and has since signed up with TV vet Charles Bagnall and the RAC to demand Government action. The Noah’s Bark pet safety campaign hopes 100,000 Brits will sign up – before the election, David Cameron is reported to have said that the number would qualify a petition for a Commons debate.
At about the same time that this was going on, a survey by the American Automobile Association and manufacturer of pet travel products Kurgo revealed an amazing account of misdemeanours while on the road. For instance, more than half of those surveyed admitted petting their dog while driving; nearly a quarter used their arms to hold their dog in place while braking; and close to one in five admitted to having to drive with one hand because they had to stop their dog climbing into the front seat.
When taken into the context of how looking away from the road for only two seconds doubles the risk of being in a crash, this is a serious situation. Then when you consider how a 10-pound dog in a crash at 30mph exerts roughly 300 pounds of pressure and an unrestrained 80-pound dog at 30mph exerts about 2,400 pounds of pressure, you start to see how imperative it is that pets are restrained while travelling.
Yes, this was a survey conducted in America, but I bet a survey conducted here would throw up roughly the same attitudes and results. And now that the holiday season is upon us, and with more Brits this year holidaying within the UK, it is a good time to remind your customers about pet safety in the car.
It is a good habit to encourage, and we should not have to wait for legislation before thinking about car safety. Not that I think Todd’s campaign has any chance of becoming legislation any time soon. For more Pet Trade News please visit Pet Buisness World