Insecure Animals

a family traveling by car in a town

According to data compiled by Royal Canin and RACE, supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPA) and the DGT, 12% of drivers who travel with animals do so incorrectly, to the point of endangering both their lives and that of the other occupants of the vehicle.
The report, “Companion Animals and Road Safety”, includes risk situations with simulated animals inside the vehicle, tips for transporting the animal safely and a research survey with a sample of over a thousand people.
It also highlights the need to use appropriate restraint systems for animals, to control the temperature of the cabin and to monitor the animal during stops, to guarantee the well-being of the pet during travel.
Survey of more than 1,300 drivers
According to the survey included in the report, carried out on more than 1,300 drivers, one in three (36%) travels with their pet, 87% uses restraint systems, 11% places the animal in the boot, separate from the occupants, but without retention, protection, or separating net, and only 1% carry the animal loose in the vehicle or in the arms of an occupant.
Of the restraint systems used, 62% of those surveyed use seat belts or harnesses for their pets, a percentage that in 2011 stood at 45%.
Of the rest of the systems, 12% use carriers attached to the seat with the belt, 10% of users use carriers in the boot, 8% use bars or separating nets and 4% use carriers placed on the floor.
Track tests
RACE, in collaboration with other European clubs (ADAC, from Germany, and Ă–AMTC, from Austria), has carried out simulations on the track of emergency braking and dodging manoeuvres at 100 kilometres per hour, with dolls of different weights (4kg, 8kg, 12.8kg and 25kg) inside the passenger compartment, in different positions and using different restraint systems.
The tests conclude that the animal becomes a great risk for the rest of the occupants when being projected: a 5 kg dog, in an accident at 60 km / h, multiplies its weight by 56 due to inertia, and it shoots out with an equivalent weight of 280 kilograms.
The report also points out that the boot and the rear space in the foot area are the most recommended for traveling with pets, but always with an adequate restraint system, such as safety harnesses, transport boxes or carriers attached to the vehicle. or trunk separation barriers.
10 tips to travel comfortably and safely with animals
1. Never travel with a loose animal in the cabin
There are significant risks to the animal and other occupants and may also pose a danger to rescue teams in the event of an accident. It can involve a penalty of up to 100 euro.
2. Choose a suitable retention system
Among the available systems are restraint harnesses (with a short and stable connection system), carriers or passenger compartment dividers, which must be firm and well anchored to prevent displacement.
3. Do not place objects next to the animal
In case of impact, they can become projectiles.
4. Control the animal at rest stops
When you open the boot or the door of the vehicle, the animal can run away and cause an incident.
5. Never leave the animal inside the vehicle with high temperatures
Not even in a shady area or with the windows open.
6. Stop every two hours
Thus, the animal can urinate or defecate, walk and hydrate.
7. Control possible dizziness
If the animal has a tendency to get dizzy, it is preferable not to feed or drink it in the hours before the trip. Take advantage of the stops to drink.
8. Monitor the vehicle temperature
Ensuring adequate ventilation always.
9. Accustom the animal to the restraint system
If the animal usually travels in the vehicle, get him used to traveling restrained from being a puppy, in a carrier or separated by a system that prevents access to the cabin.
10. Never restrain the animal with its leash
It is not a restraint system and poses a significant risk of injury, both to the animal and to the rest of the occupants.