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We all know about the perils of not fastening your seatbelt, of drink-driving and of speeding.
Similarly, anyone who's spent any time driving in rural areas will know the perils of ploughing into an animal: we've heard of trains hitting cows, seen signs warning of sheep crossing the road and, if, like me, you've done the drive between Sydney and Melbourne, witnessed the detritus of a thousand Skippys by the side of the road.
One might be forgiven for thinking that these two dangers - the idiot behind the wheel and the animals in front of it - might be separate, but according to the experts down at Confused.com, there is a huge risk involved in having your pet in the car with you.
A further half of those surveyed said that they did not know that having an inappropriately restrained animal in the car would invalidate their insurance in the event of an accident, while a full two-thirds were in the dark about the rules regarding driving with pets, particularly that they could be heavily fined if their pet was not sufficiently restrained.
They heard stories about cats getting into the footwell and restricting access to the pedals and dogs making a break for it out of the window while waiting in traffic. The hijinks are many, but the Highway Code takes a dimmer view.
Their rules read: "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." Yes, that includes your pup sticking its head out of the window on a long drive.
"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 £2,500," said Amanda Stretton, motoring editor of Confused.com.
"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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