Safety for people and animals: transporting dogs in the car: vehicle owners must take this into account

Especially on short journeys, vehicle owners often do not pay attention to the safety of people and animals: the dog is transported in the footwell, on the front passenger seat or on the back seat or even on the lap - without securing it.

Safety for people and animals: transporting dogs in the car: vehicle owners must take this into account

Especially on short journeys, vehicle owners often do not pay attention to the safety of people and animals: the dog is transported in the footwell, on the front passenger seat or on the back seat or even on the lap - without securing it. And that despite the fact that, according to the ADAC, a four-legged friend weighing 20 kilograms develops a penetrating force of up to 600 kilograms in a collision at 50 kilometers per hour. In the event of an accident, the consequences for all occupants would be life-threatening. For this reason, you should always transport your dogs in the car in such a way that everyone involved is protected.

Basically, the larger the animal, the greater the effort. In the first instance, it depends on whether you want to transport a Labrador or a dachshund in the car - there are different options for protecting the animal. Sturdy transport boxes made of metal, which can be safely stored in the trunk, are particularly suitable for large dogs. Medium-sized dogs can be restrained using a harness and seat belt. For small dogs, on the other hand, there are also special transport boxes, which, however, also find a safe place on the back seat. You can find out how these methods differ in detail here:

The transport box

The advantage of a transport box is that your dog is secured and that the driver is not disturbed. According to the ADAC, stable boxes with separating grids are particularly recommended, which can be accommodated in the footwell (i.e. behind the front seat) - the traffic club came to the conclusion after a crash test. However, there is no space for larger dogs, which is why the loading space for large transport boxes is more suitable, especially in station wagons, hatchback limousines, vans and off-road vehicles. In this case, it is important that the box is additionally secured, is always positioned transversely to the direction of travel and is pushed up to the backrest of the rear seat bench: In the event of a rear-end collision, the forces that occur would be distributed laterally or evenly over the dog's body.

Trenngitter

If you want to transport your dog in the trunk, a partition net or partition grid is essential for the safety of people and animals. Depending on how old your vehicle is, the rear seat backrests have different levels of stability - for this reason, partition grilles that extend from the roof to the floor of the luggage compartment are a better choice for old cars. This is the only way to prevent the animal from punching through in the event of an impact. For new vehicles, a short partition grille for the trunk with integrated headrest attachment is usually sufficient.

seat belt

For short journeys, you can buckle up your pet with a special car seat belt. However, make sure that the belt is never attached to the collar - otherwise you would strangle the dog in the event of an impact. In any case, use a dog harness that is as short and stable as possible and is attached to the safety belt. The transport harness should also have wide straps and a tight fastener. In addition, it must fit snugly against the body, but not too tight that it could cut into it.

car seat

Similar to children, there is also a car seat for small to medium-sized dogs, which is attached to the back seat and can also be used as a place to sleep. In any case, your four-legged friend should be secured with an additional safety belt, otherwise it would be thrown out of the seat in the event of a collision. The main advantage of a car seat for dogs is that the rear seats are protected from scratches, dog hair and dirt and your dog is supported by unforeseen driving manoeuvres.

protective blanket

In contrast to the car seat, the protective cover is used solely to protect the rear seats of your vehicle or to protect them from dirt. The purchase only makes sense here if you secure your dog with an additional safety belt and a harness while driving - otherwise it is not worth buying a protective blanket for your four-legged friend.

To date, there is no direct seat belt obligation for pets, but there are road traffic regulations. And this says - according to § 23 StVO: "Anyone who drives a vehicle is responsible for ensuring that their vision and hearing are not impaired by the occupants, animals, the load, equipment or the condition of the vehicle. Anyone who drives a vehicle has also to ensure that the vehicle, the train, the combination as well as the load and the occupants are in accordance with the regulations and that the road safety of the vehicle is not impaired by the load or the occupants."

In plain language, this means: From a purely legal point of view, dogs are regarded as cargo. Accordingly, you are obliged to secure your pet in such a way that the road safety of the vehicle and its occupants is not endangered. If you violate the paragraph, you face a warning and fine.

If you do not transport your dogs securely in the car, you must expect a fine of 35 euros. If you also endanger road traffic through your misconduct, the fine increases to 60 euros - in the case of property damage to 75 euros. And that's not all: you also get a point in Flensburg. However, all this is nothing compared to your life and that of the inmates, which is worth far more than a fine.

Long journeys are not only extremely tiring for people - car journeys lasting several hours are also torture for dogs. It is all the more important that you get your pet used to the transport option and the safety precautions you have decided on before you travel. Your four-legged friend can then enjoy the ride in his "cave" much more relaxed. However, that is not all you should consider before a long car journey.

Here are some important tips for dog owners:

Source: ADAC

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