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Keeping pets loose in vehicle can increase car accident risk

Whether it's an occasional trip to the vet or a daily drive together, most people travel with their pets in the car from time to time. However, many do not take the correct precautions to avoid a car accident when traveling with an animal. According to the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), a safety device is critical to secure pets can prevent distractions and save the pet in case of a collision.

According to a recent ICBC survey, only half of British Columbia pet owners own a safety device. Cat owners were more likely to own one at 85 percent, while only 45 percent of dog guardians had such a device. Of those dog owners who do own a safety restraint, only 55 percent say they always use the device.

ICBC and the British Columbia SPCA recommend always using a safety restraint when pets are in the car. They also recommend keeping pets in the back seat or cargo area of a vehicle. If a collision occurs, this will prevent the pet from flying forward in the vehicle and injuring themselves or others.

Three-quarters of respondents to ICBC's survey also said that they agree that playing with a pet while driving is distracting. Despite this, some pet owners did admit to interacting with their animals while driving, even if just to prevent them from climbing where they should not. A restraint would prevent this issue as well. Those who are victims of a car accident in British Columbia should speak to a personal injury lawyer to understand their rights to compensation from ICBC.

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