Safe travel with your four-legged companion

Safe travel with your four-legged companion

Many of you will take to the road on your family vacation, and some of you will even bring your furry companion! SSQ offers advice so that all the members of your family, whether they walk on 2 legs or 4, can travel safely.

Buckle up: essential for all

When you get into a car, the reflex is to buckle up. The same should apply for your dog. In the event of sudden braking or impact, the weight of your animal is multiplied, which transforms it into a dangerous projectile.

In fact, in an accident, your dog might hurt you, hit a member of your family, hurt itself or be ejected from the vehicle. According to Catherine Viel, communications officer for the City of Quebec (SPVQ), “it is not uncommon to arrive at the scene of a minor accident and find that a dog has died after being ejected from the vehicle. A small impact can be fatal for animals that are not adequately attached in the vehicle.”

Can I be fined if I get stopped and my dog is not attached?

Section 442 of the Highway Safety Code stipulates that “no person may drive a road vehicle in which a passenger, an animal or an object is so placed as to obstruct the driver’s view or to interfere with the proper handling of the vehicle.” In this way, if a police officer deems that your animal interferes with your driving or your visibility, you could be fined.

Also, if you have a car accident and your animal is declared responsible for the incident, the SAAQ may not pay your compensation, since accidents caused by the independent act of an animal transported in a car are excluded from the plan.

To avoid such a situation, you have three solutions available:

Harness

Several harness models are available. They adapt to the size and the physiognomy of any dog breed. They buckle to the seat belt in the back seat (far from the airbags), which is the more secure place to transport your dog. Careful not to attach the leash directly to your pet’s collar, which could break its neck instantly upon impact.

Barrier

Especially designed for large dogs, the barrier can confine your dog to the back of the vehicle in the event of accident. Although it is most often used in SUVs and minivans, the barrier can also be used to separate the back seat from the front seats.

Cage

Especially practical for small dogs (and cats), the cage can be a very interesting solution, provided it is properly secured to the ground or attached to the seat! The cage itself should not become a projectile in the event of an accident. If a car ride is a stressful experience for your dog, the animal may find some comfort in its cage.

Happy travels to all!