Traveling with your dog is a given for many travelers. The dog should also be in the car. But there are also some rules in the car for four-legged passengers. To ensure that your four-legged friend is not thrown through the interior in the event of an accident, it should be well secured.
Safety on the road is also important for dogs!
Although there is no direct obligation for animals to wear seat belts, they are legally considered cargo and, according to Section 23 of the Road Traffic Act, this must be secured in such a way that the road safety of both the vehicle and its passengers is not impaired. If you violate this, you risk a warning or a fine.
The ADAC has carried out tests with dog dummies that show what serious consequences an accident with an unsecured animal can have. At a speed of 50 km/h, the 22 kg toy dog flew forward from the parcel shelf without braking and, with around 25 times its own weight, first crashed into the headrest and backrest of the driver’s seat and then into the windscreen. The impact was as much as 500 kg – the consequences for those involved in a real accident would be terrible. The animal must be secured, even on short journeys. Special dog harnesses that are as short and stable as possible, which can be anchored to the vehicle belts or to the back seat using Isofix, ensure that the animal does not fly through the vehicle. However, the risk of injury to the dog is still quite high.
Transport boxes are the safest option
Sturdy transport boxes placed in the footwell behind the front seat performed better in the ADAC crash test. The cargo space in station wagons, hatchbacks and off-road vehicles is ideal for accommodating larger boxes. Here you should place the box across the direction of travel and directly against the backrest of the back seat, then the forces that occur in the event of a crash will be distributed quite evenly across the animal’s entire body. A stable divider is also good, as it further reduces the risks for the passengers in the back seat, especially in the event of a serious accident.
In general, it is important if there are animals on board: make regular stops, do not drive in very hot weather, give the dog enough water and do not expose it to drafts. And very important: Never leave the animal alone in the car when it is very hot!
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