It’s no secret that many people with dogs love cruising with the windows down, allowing their unbuckled companions to stick their faces blissfully out into the wind. But this viral video shows just how dangerous this sort of joyride can be.
On a London street in 2015, a dashboard camera in another car filmed a dog having a great time leaning out an open car window until the vehicle reached a winding turn. At that point, the animal lurched forward, fell out the window, and was left hanging by a leash most likely secured to something inside the car. The driver promptly noticed and pulled over. It’s not known whether the dog sustained any injuries.
According to one study, 60 percent of dog guardians have been distracted by their canine companions while driving and only 17 percent secure them with some sort of restraint system.
We know that many pups love an open window, but it shouldn’t be open so far that they could fall or jump out. Animals riding in cars should also be properly restrained. Countless unrestrained dogs and cats have escaped from vehicles at tollbooths and rest stops. And remember not to transport companion animals in the bed of a pickup truck—abrupt acceleration or stops, sharp turns, and collisions pose a great risk to them.
Drivers with accompanying dogs should also consider their own safety in the case of an accident. If a crash occurs at just 35 mph, a 60-pound dog can exert 2,700 pounds of force on impact.
Wearing a seat belt is a great idea for everyone in the car.
Dogs are safest restrained with a canine “seat belt,” available from many animal companion supply stores and online retailers.
Looking for more information about traveling with your canine friend? Check out our tips: