Driving You Crazy: Pets in Cars

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – You may see a dog hanging its head out the window on a nice day.

It’s cute to watch but it drives some of you crazy if that pet isn’t buckled up.

“The animal control officer has yelled at me for keeping him in the front seat. Because she said if the airbag goes off it can kill the dog,” Don Skelley, of Albany, said.

Riding with pets in the car can be dangerous, especially when they’re on your lap.

“If you have to stop suddenly, say somebody walks out in front of your car or a car slams on its brakes, where is that dog going? They are going to go flying through that car,” Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said.

Driving just 30 MPH, your pet can create a deadly amount of force, should you have to slam on the brakes.

“So your 10-pound dog is now a 300-pound projectile flying through the car,” Michael Sweeney, AAA Hudson Valley Traffic Educator, said.

The next time you take your pet for a ride in the car, consider getting a seatbelt for them.

They’re common, easy to use, and highly recommended.

“So you’ve got that attached to the harness and then just *clicks seatbelt,” Brad Shear, former Executive Director at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, said. “You can see she’s still restrained here but she’s got room to move back and forth within the back seat.”

It’s an extra step that could save a life. After all, don’t you buckle up?

“I treat him like a member of the family because he is a member of the family,” Skelley said.

There is no law per se that says your pet has to be restrained in the car. You can be cited if an officer feels your pet is causing you to swerve or become distracted.

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