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Driven to distraction by per passengers

4th April 2016 Print

With National Pet Month now upon us, pet owners can be forgiven for wanting to keep their four-legged friends close at all times – even when driving. However, according to new research from a worrying number (27%) of motorists who own a pet say they have been distracted by their pet when driving.

And this may come as no surprise as findings from the leading price comparison site reveal that almost a quarter (24%) of motorists who own a pet regularly take their pet with them on car journeys. Yet worryingly, nearly a third (32%) of pet owning motorists say that they don’t restrain their pets while on the move.

When travelling with adults and children as passengers, most motorists are vigilant about taking appropriate safety precautions, however this does not always appear to be the case when it comes to travelling with pets. In fact, more than one in ten (12%) pet owning motorists admit to letting their pet roam freely in the car when they are travelling with them. Some motorists (8%) are even happy to let their pet stick their head out of the window when on a car journey.

However, not restraining an animal when travelling with them in the car could have serious consequences, with 3% of motorists who own a pet saying they have had a motor-related accident because of their pet.

Yet despite these worrying findings many motorists are happy to take their pet on the road regularly, with nearly one in five (20%) claiming that their pet is a good travelling companion. In fact, one in 20 (6%) even say they prefer to take their pet with them on car journeys rather than their own family. And, with April being National Pet Month, which promotes responsible pet ownership, motorists need to aware of how to travel safely with an animal.

Matt Lloyd, Motoring Expert at, comments: “For many animal lovers across the UK, the family pet is very much that; part of the family. So it’s perhaps no surprise that nearly a quarter (24%) of motorists who own a pet regularly take their pet with them on car journeys.

“However, it worrying to note that a more than a quarter (27%) say they have been distracted by their pet when driving. But this may not be surprising when nearly a third (32%) of motorists do not restrain their pets while on the move.

“As National Pet Month is promoting responsible pet ownership we urge motorists to be mindful of travelling safely with a pet. While many animals will sit quietly on the back seat for the duration of their journey, others will leap about, move around and possibly cause a distraction to the driver of the vehicle.

“So when travelling with your pet make sure they are suitably restrained so that they cannot divert your attention when behind the wheel. By making sure your animal is properly restrained in the vehicle is essential for the safety of everyone in the car.”

Safely secure your pet while traveling, for example use animals crates or a pet seat belt

Don’t attach a restraining device to your pet's collar. Always use a harness to prevent injury

To ensure your pet isn’t trying to get you attention because they are hungry or thirsty, make sure you give them fresh water and treats. However keep your pet's main meal for the end of the day

When on longer trips take some home comforts such as bedding or toys so you pet can feel more relaxed on their journey

Make sure the car is well ventilated and it doesn’t become too warm for the animal when travelling