Your Guide to Car Safety for DogsArizona Legal News
One of the less-discussed implications of auto accidents is the risk they pose to dogs in the car. The injury or death of a beloved pet can be just as crushing and stressful as any amount of personal injury or property damage, so it’s only right that you know how to keep your dog (and yourself) safe in the event of a crash.
Restrain Your Dog
Although there are no laws in Arizona against letting your dog rest and move freely in your vehicle, it’s highly advisable to restrain them for both your safety and theirs. There are many reasons why proper restraints are so important:
- Dogs distract drivers and could cause an accident.
- A dog can interfere with the steering wheel, pedals, and other instruments.
- Unrestrained dogs become heavy, lethal projectiles during crashes, and could maim or kill others in the car.
- Front-seat airbags are designed for humans; they can kill unrestrained dogs outright.
- Unrestrained dogs can disrupt emergency workers and make it difficult to rescue you or the dog in a catastrophic accident.
So how should you go about restraining your dog? The best method is with a padded, high-quality dog harness to secure your pet in much the same way as a child restraint system. Alternatively, use a durable, metal dog crate (never a plastic one, as they provide less than no protection), tucked against the rear of a front-seat (or in a rear cargo area) as low to the ground as possible. These minimize force on the dog, prevent it from becoming a projectile, protect it from crumpling components, and have the added benefit of keeping the dog out of the driver’s immediate view so that they can focus on the road. No matter which restraint systems you choose, be sure to research them extensively—many untested, lower quality products can actually pose more danger to a dog than having no restraints at all. If your dog is killed by one of these faulty systems, you might have grounds for a lawsuit.
Additionally, never leave your dog unattended in a vehicle if possible, and if you do, only do so with the windows cracked open in moderate weather, and for short periods of time. It’s illegal in Arizona (and many other states) to leave a dog in a vehicle for any period of time if it’s at all likely to be hurt or killed.
Getting Compensation For Arizona Auto Accidents
If you or your dog has been hurt in an accident, you deserve compensation. Schedule a free consultation with a compassionate auto accident attorney who can help you start building a case; although no amount of compensation can truly make up for an injury, it can be a good start to securing justice and make sure you don’t go through financial hardships. Our attorneys can also help you receive compensation for the rest of your accident and any injuries other passengers might have, so call us today at (623) 321-0566 to get started.