driving tips, holiday travel, Motoring News, road safety

Travelling with pets? Get them belted-in, just like you

NO HEAD OUT OF A WINDOW: Image: Supplied

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa – During the 2019/20 holiday period a family of three and a dog in the car died in a crash. Two other traumatised dogs fled from the carnage.

The missing dogs survived and were later found. Which begs a number of questions about carrying the family dogs in the family car…


MasterDrive’s MD and correspondent for The Corner Eugene Herbert, hearing of the tragedy, has elected to expand on the problem with an emphasis on the importance of restraining animals as well as humans in a moving car.

“It is important to restrain your pets for a number of reasons – the first being to stop them distracting the driver by moving around the cabin, the second to prevent them flying through the cabin during a sudden frontal crash.

HEY, ARE WE GOING THE RIGHT WAY?  Fine, but where is his crash restraint?  Image: Supplied

“Crash restraints hold humans in their seats rather than them flying through the windscreen or smashing into the facia or steering-wheel or, from the rear, into the front occupants’ heads.. Dogs need similar – even if the car is braked suddenly.”

An unrestrained dog flying around a rolling car could seriously injure a human.


Herbert says many animal-friendly options exist. “Whether you teach your pets to travel in safely secured crates or make use of restraints designed for animals, I urge to start doing so NOW. Even if your dogs are accustomed to car travel things happen – restraining your pets is something the animals, and your family, deserve.”

ADD A COLLAR TAG: Use it to hold your address and phone number in case your terrified pet flees from the accident scene. Image: Supplied

Here are Herbert’s suggestions that will help to keep your animals safe on the roads…

  • Never let an animal travel on the front passenger seat.
  • Attach to the dog’s collar a tag bearing your name, address, and contact number, and perhaps a second person to contact who can take care of the animal should it run loose after a crash or jump out of the car.
  • Train your pet to travel in a crate, or with a restraint, from their first car outing.
  • Never leave a pet in a parked car, for the same reasons you would not so leave a child – particulary on a hot day.
  • Do not let your pet travel with their head out of the window – manly because flying gravel or a flying insect could take out an eye.

AND ON A SAD NOTE: MasterDrive offers sincere condolences to the family involved in the January tragedy and to encourage safer driving behaviour is giving away a number of seatbelt clips for dogs.

Email editor@masterdrive.co.za to enter.

The winners will be notified in March 2020

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