Driving With The Dog
Many people have no idea that there may be laws affecting how they should travel with their dogs. Everyone loves their dog. Everyone wants their dog with them as much as possible. After all, what road trip is complete without Fido or Sadie? Just make sure you know what state laws may apply when you take your dog with you.
Good Driving Judgment
The good news is this: South Carolina drivers don’t have to worry about any state laws requiring them to ‘strap-down’ their dog. In South Carolina, you can keep little Rocko in your lap as you cruise. That said, just because there’s no state law banning the practice doesn’t mean it’s a good idea! Staying cautious and following recommended safety procedures while driving with your dog can make all the difference in the event of a car accident.
Dogs Can Distract
Dogs can get startled by sudden sounds or movements. They can easily distract you behind the wheel. Even a seasoned driver-dog owner may react if they suspect their pup is in need. Don’t let your dog distract you on the road, for both your sake and theirs. After all, thousands of motorists die every year because of distractions. Driving with the dog in your lap just isn’t worth becoming a statistic. Your safety and everyone else’s matters even if Spike wants to cuddle. If you’re traveling out-of-state, you’ll need to know the various state laws that may apply there.
In the U.S., traffic laws vary by state. Many states have debated making drivers strap their dogs in for car rides. Some lawmakers, unsecured dogs are a distraction that could be dangerous to motorists. Other states require dogs to be secured for animal cruelty reasons. Laws vary from state to state. For example, New Jersey makes drivers keep dogs secured in a seatbelt or crate. Los Angeles drivers can be ticketed for speeding if their dog isn’t secured. These rules might sound crazy—but take them seriously. Not following the local laws can result in a serious fine. Keep the law in mind when you travel, whether in South Carolina or somewhere else.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.