Mayo County Council in Ireland has launched its ‘Belt Up Your Pets’ campaign in response to a survey which revealed that 90% of motorists who regularly drive with their pets in the car have been distracted by them.
The survey also revealed that 11% of drivers who regularly drive with their pets in the car have nearly crashed into the vehicle in front after being distracted.
Noel Gibbons, Mayo County Council RSO, said: “Any passenger can be a distraction for a driver – we need people to belt up the whole family, including pets.
“An unrestrained dog or cat can be a hazardous distraction to a driver. Even if your pet is well behaved in the car, you still have to consider your pet’s safety should another driver cause you to slam on your brakes etc.”
The campaign recommends that people travelling with pets should restrain them with a safety harness or pet carrier. Travel cages for larger animals are also available.
Damien Feeney, a paramedic in Mayo, said: “Angry and disorientated animals can delay medical attention at the scene of an accident.
“Maybe the dog escapes through a broken window and dashes into traffic causing more collisions and very often getting killed.”
For more information contact Noel Gibbons on 0877870055.