Drivers are risking invalidating their insurance and a hefty fine by driving with pets roaming loose in their vehicles.
Creatures of all sizes and shapes enjoy a ride in their owners’ cars but not buckling animal companions could cause accidents.
Because pets are considered family members, they are always with us on the roads. However, almost two-thirds of U.K. drivers are not aware that driving with pets unrestrained can result in a fine up to £5,000.
According to research, over half of pet-owning motorists do not realize letting their pet roam loose in the vehicle may also invalidate their insurance.
It was found one in 10 drivers has had an accident while traveling with a pet. Dogs are the most common passengers, but many drivers also carry cats, hamsters, rabbits, birds, guinea pigs, and other animals.
One driver received a fine for letting their dog climb to the front while another reported their pooch suddenly jumped out of the window while waiting at traffic lights.
Cats are also equally dangerous as one driver said their feline settled in the footwell next to pedals after it escaped from its box.
Rule 57 of the Highway Code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.
“A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”
Amanda Stretton said: “Many drivers will be joined by four-legged companions as they set off on trips across the UK.
“But drivers must restrain their dogs properly, or they could receive fines up to £5,000.
“Driving with an unrestrained pet can also invalidate your car insurance, meaning having to personally pay out for repairs in the event of a claim.”
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