A major insurer has suggested that dogs should be banned from sticking their heads out of car windows.
New research by Direct Line Pet Insurance discovered that two in five dog owners who drive with their pets risk significant fines by not always keeping their pooches secure whilst driving.
Nearly half – or 47 per cent – of drivers allowed their pets to put their head out of a car window, prompting injuries in 28 per cent as a consequence.
Additionally, in the past five years, 18 per cent of motorists who did not restrain their dog in the car have had an accident while driving with their pet.
This ignores the Highway Code, which states that animals must be suitably restrained when in a vehicle so that they cannot distract or injure the driver.
Speaking to The Telegraph, a spokesman for the insurer said: “Is it time to ban dogs putting their heads out of car windows?
“While breaking the Highway Code does not carry a direct penalty, if you are deemed to be distracted and cause careless driving, you could be fined up to £200 on a ‘fixed penalty notice’ by the police, and depending on the severity, up to nine penalty points on a driver’s licence.
“Careless driving penalty points must stay on driving records for four years from the date of the offence.”
‘Dogs should always be secured’
Veterinary nurse Madeline Pike said that securing your dog helps to reduce injuries or avoidable distractions.
You might want to have your much loved dog enjoy the ride up front, or roam freely in the car, but in reality dogs should always be secured whether that is by using a seat belt, dog guard or pet carrier, and keeping them in the boot or backseat.
Owners should watch out for their pet’s wellbeing, alongside other drivers on the road.
The Highway Code recommends: “A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of safely restraining animals in cars.”