Protect Your Precious Passengers
State Farm offers simple reminders to help make your summer drive a safer one, no matter how far you’re going.
Summer is upon us, which means pedestrians, pets, bicycles and motorcycles are out in force, requiring drivers to be even more cautious. No matter where you’re headed, the park close by or family vacation to the beach, it’s important to think about everyone who’ll be traveling with you, especially children and pets. As a driver, your responsibility is to know the law and protect those in your vehicle.
Infants and toddlers need special care and safety seats are required by law in all 50 states. Some states even have laws that require your furry friends to be restrained. New Jersey, for example, requires pets to be in a restraint or a carrier in the car. The fine for this violation is anywhere from $250 to $1000. Check with your department of motor vehicles or veterinary office for information on pet restraint in your state.
According to Actress and The Pet Lifestyle Coach®, Megan Blake, “unrestrained pets in cars pose serious potential risks, including becoming a major distraction to drivers; and unrestrained pets can easily be seriously injured, killed or even lost after being thrown from a car.»
“Dogs, like children, should never be allowed to ride with their heads out the windows,” says Megan. “Flying debris, including bugs, could harm them, and their lungs or ears could be injured from high-speed wind.”
Keep SUMMER FUN as a driver by following these tips:
- Start your trip with GPS and music set; phone stowed. Keep children and pets content by bringing along a favorite toy, treat, or blanket. Always drive 2N2®- 2 eyes on the road, 2 hands on the wheel.
- Understand the laws for passenger restraint. Both child and pet passengers require special attention. No passengers belong on a lap or in the bed of a pick-up truck.
- Make sure that the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC) of your vehicle is in good condition before your trip begins. This will be especially important for those longer trips. Keep a spare charging cable and car charger in your car for your phone.
- Make it a point to pull over if a child or pet needs attention, or if you feel tired or drowsy. This way you keep your eyes on the road.
- Eating along the way may be necessary, but you should pull over for this, too. Pack snacks and drinks for everyone, including pets, for convenience.
- Remove loose objects from your vehicle, they can become projectiles in a crash, causing injury to people or pets. In the event of a crash, unsecured pets may become frightened and jump from open windows.
- Forbid paws and heads from being out the window. This applies to both 2-legged and 4-legged passengers. They could be injured by flying debris.
- Understand construction may be underway along your route. Plan ahead and find alternate routes and pet-friendly stops, helping to get you to your destination on schedule.
- Never leave children or pets in cars alone for any period of time. Temperatures can rise 19 degrees in just 10 minutes, putting them at risk.