FOSTER CITY, Calif., Sept. 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seventy-two percent of drivers bring their pets along for rides, but most don't use restraints to keep their furry friends safe, according to a new survey.
CarInsurance.com recently asked 1,000 drivers if they have pets that ride as passengers (722 said they do), what type of animal they own, if they restrain their pets while in the car and if they have had an accident due to a pet distraction.
Here are the key findings among drivers who take their animal companions with them on the road:
- 80 % of drivers have only dogs in the car
- 13% ride with both dogs and cats
- 6 % ride only with cats
- 1 % ride with "other" animals, including parrots, parakeets, rabbits, ferrets and fish
Of the drivers who choose to cruise with their pets, most also let them roam around the vehicle:
- 40 % use a restraint "sometimes"
- 33 % said they "always" restrain their pets
- 27 % "never" use restraints
Thirty-six percent of drivers who travel with pets in their cars let the animals sit in their laps. More men (43 percent) than women (29 percent) do so.
"Given how so few drivers use animal safety restraints, it's not surprising that 14 percent of the drivers who travel with their pets said they've been in an accident or had a 'near miss' due to their pet distracting them," said Michelle Megna, managing editor of CarInsurance.com.
When the fur flies, are you covered?
Your liability car insurance will pay for damage to the other driver's car and for others' injuries if you crash while driving with your pet. This is true even if your pet distracted you and you did not have it restrained. To have your own car fixed you must have optional collision coverage.
You would have to pay for medical care for your pet if it's injured during an accident you caused. If the other driver is at fault, you can make a claim against the driver's property damage liability coverage to cover your pet's vet bills.
"Some car insurers do offer pet coverage under the collision portion of your policy," says Megna. "Coverage levels vary dramatically, but the average is typically between $1,000 and $2,000, which may not be nearly enough to pay for vet bills if there are serious injuries."
Safe pet travel tips
To prevent your pet from being hurt while riding in the car, animal safety experts recommend you use a harness, crate or restraint.
Subaru of America and the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Center for Pet Safety (CPS) teamed up in 2013 to test pet-safety harnesses. They recently released test results for crates, carriers and the connectors.
For more pet-safety tips and information on pet-safety devices, please see the full feature "When your pet rides shotgun" on CarInsurance.com: http://www.carinsurance.com/Articles/pets-ride-in-cars.aspx.
CarInsurance.com commissioned an online survey of 1,000 drivers over age 18. The survey was fielded in February 2015.
CarInsurance.com, an independent quote comparison website, has been offering drivers expert advice about the different types of car insurance and how to shop for them since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online, find average car insurance rates for nearly every ZIP code in the country and purchase a policy online in minutes. CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs.
CONTACT: Michelle Megna 413-923-1814 Michellem(at)quinstreet(dot)com Twitter: @carinsuranceSource:QuinStreet