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Travelling in the car

(26 Posts)
TableMirror Wed 20-Sep-17 14:38:54

I need some lateral dog safety thinking please!

Currently dog cage on the back seat, dog isn't keen and we are expecting 2nd child soon so will have 2 isofix seats in the back. I'm not that keen on putting it back in the boot as it makes half the boot unusable and the dog stresses if you put things on top (wire cage).

I have though discovered that he travels well on the floor in the back, this is really convenient but unless he's secured, illegal. He can't travel sitting on the back seat with a harness as he won't sit next to my toddler. Is there a harness that works in the footwell? Or a special footwell cage?

He's a terrier in a Land Rover if that helps!

Fireinthegrate Wed 20-Sep-17 19:35:11

How long are your journeys?
I would just put the crate in the boot and get on with it. Perhaps cover the top of the crate with a blanket so that if you do pit stuff on top he can't see it.
I don't think there's any way you can secure him safely in the rear footwell.

CornflakeHomunculus Wed 20-Sep-17 19:42:23

I'd also go for a proper crate in the boot, it really is the safest option both for the dog and the other passengers in the car.

Safedog Variocages are really excellent and have solid tops which may solve the issue of putting things on it. They've got a handy page of photos of various sized cages in Land Rovers to give you an idea of how much space they take up.

Lintran also do solid-topped car crates, some of which have in built storage which might be useful for the stuff you want to put on top.

Mrsladybirdface Wed 20-Sep-17 19:43:58

Is it actually illegal or is that myth?

Mrsladybirdface Wed 20-Sep-17 19:46:25

Not that I'm suggesting you should have a dog running round the car! Can you not use a boot guard?

Fireinthegrate Wed 20-Sep-17 19:46:55

Yes it is illegal. Dogs must be safely secured in a car, either with a harness attached to the seatbelt, in a crate, or in the boot with a dog guard between the bbot and the rest of the car

CaptWentworth Wed 20-Sep-17 19:50:07

We have built-in cage in the boot (estate car). Basically a boot guard plus a partition so the dogs have full half of the boot. And other things edible stuff can go on the other side. Your car manufacturer will have their own version.

Mrsladybirdface Wed 20-Sep-17 20:53:50

Just checked ..its not illegal but obviously if you have a dog bouncing around distracting you and that causes an accident you could be some for dangerous driving or careless driving.

Fireinthegrate Wed 20-Sep-17 20:56:06

I thought I saw a TV ad this week about legalities of dogs in cars, stating that they must be secured in a crate, or a harness attached to the seatbelt

Mrsladybirdface Wed 20-Sep-17 20:58:56

That's what the highway code states but that is not a law in itself. If you have a well behaved dog in the footwell..the police aren't going to stop you and fine you. Always a risk though of injury to dog.

Fireinthegrate Wed 20-Sep-17 20:59:53

Breach of the Highway Code rather than law, but you could be fined for careless driving

CornflakeHomunculus Wed 20-Sep-17 21:40:58

It's also worth noting that a lot of car harnesses are actually intended to stop the dog moving around inside the car, they're not going to protect either the dog or the other occupants of the car in the event of a crash. Even some which are sold as safety devices fail (sometimes catastrophically) when properly crash tested.

These videos are well worth watching if you're in the market for a car harness. As is this one by an Australian insurance company who did similar testing.

Hoppinggreen Thu 21-Sep-17 09:09:45

My Retriever travels in the boot but not secured and with no grill - used to have one to stop him climbing over but now he's bigger he doesn't even try
Is this illegal then?

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 21-Sep-17 15:47:12

No, I don't think so. I've always had dogs in the boot and no ones ever stopped me. They've never bothered to try and climb over either.

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Sep-17 15:53:46

The law changed. You do now have to have your dog secured. That could be a boot guard, harness and seat belt thing or a crate. A loose dog could distract the driver and in an accident could actually teally injure someone.
Cover the crate?

forikol Thu 21-Sep-17 15:59:01

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Mrsladybirdface Thu 21-Sep-17 18:56:44

Wolfie...can you point me in the direction of the law and when it was changed...i can only see the highway code

BiteyShark Thu 21-Sep-17 19:11:01

Irrespective of the law if you have an accident and the other driver notices that your dog is not secured I can imagine that could be used as a reason for your possible distraction even if it had nothing to do with the accident.

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Sep-17 19:12:43

It's not a specific law. Breaking the Highway Code can leave you open to prosecution on a variety of charges like distracted driving. It can also invalidate your insurance. And of course it's illegal to drive without insurance n

Fluffysparks Thu 21-Sep-17 19:28:01

You can actually get some harnesses that clip into seat belts I think smile

Mrsladybirdface Thu 21-Sep-17 20:03:38

I read some bits about it invalidating your insurance....that is rubbish. People drink and drive and are still covered. Unless it's specifically states...(I work in the industry) it would be impossible to enforce. I have never seen a policy which has seen this exclusion.

Just to confirm I would never say having a loose dog in the car is a good idea but if you have an ancient lab sleeping on the backseat that isn't going to be an issue.

BiteyShark Thu 21-Sep-17 20:20:37

Mrsladybirdface I thought insurers were obliged to pay out for third party claims if drink driving but could avoid paying out for you own claim as you had invalidated the insurance. Surely this would be similar and quite frankly for the cost of a guard/crate or harness not something I would risk plus I would hate the thought of my dog being smacked against the windscreen because he was unrestrained in the seat etc.

Wolfiefan Thu 21-Sep-17 20:38:06

That's simply not true. It may not jump up and disturb the driver but if you actually have an impact a flying dog is a serious hazard.
It's really bloody stupid to have an unrestrained dog in the car.

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Thu 21-Sep-17 20:39:33

Wolfie I can find no such law, there is just the bit in the highway code which is seen as best practice rather than law. Obviously if you have a dog bouncing around the car or are in an accident that was caused by you being distracted due to dog not being restrained, then you can be prosecuted as driving without due care and attention.

BLUEsNewSpringWatch Thu 21-Sep-17 20:48:18

Sorry thread hadn't refreshed properly.

To those with large dogs in rear of car or boot, it is highly advisable to have guards to stop dogs becoming a very large heavy 'object' to be catapulted into driver/passengers.

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