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Dog Causes Crash in North Idaho
Two teens were injured in a car accident in Orofino, Idaho after a dog jumped into the driver’s lap. The women were driving west on U.S. Highway 12 in a Jeep Cherokee when the dog, who was one of four animals in the vehicle, jumped into the lap of the driver. The Jeep swerved, the driver overcorrected and crossed into the eastbound lanes before finally hitting an embankment and coming to a stop in the eastbound lane. The driver was taken to Clearwater Valley Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. The dog was a medium to large labrador mix.
Chances are you have found yourself traveling with and possibly distracted by pets. Dogs especially are excellent car companions (cats are probably the worst companions for cars, unless you enjoy the smell of cat pee on your commute). However, traveling with pets can present unexpected challenges and safety risks, as this most recent crash demonstrates. Something as innocent as a dog getting excited could lead to an accident. According to Consumer Reports, the following tips can help you reduce dangers and minimize risk when traveling with your pets.
First off, it’s important to make sure your vehicle has enough room for a carrier or harness/restraint. That means making sure the back area of the car is cleared enough for a safety-rated crate or that the back seat is equipped with a safety harness for your pets. Barriers such as guards or cages give your pets room to move, but keep them safely contained in a designated area. According to Barkleup a 60-lb dog traveling at 35 mph can turn into a 2,700 pound projectile in an accident. It’s important for the safety of both your pet and your family that the harness allows your pet to sit or lie down, but is able to keep them restrained in an accident.
It’s also a good idea to have a travel mat or bed for the comfort of your pet and a collapsible water bowl to prevent dehydration during long trips. In addition, on longer trips you should stop every few hours to let your pet take a break and have some water. Never let your dog ride with its head out the window – this could result in serious injuries for your pet. Never leave your pet in an unattended car without leaving the windows and sunroof open, and never leave your pet in the car on hot days. Remember to use common sense and make sure safety harnesses or barriers are used when traveling with your pet. It could mean the difference between a minor fender bender or a serious accident.
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