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Shaun Sadlier's blog: Don't forget about pets

Date: 14 May 2018

I read with interest new research from the RAC that suggests one in four drivers don't restrain their dog in accordance with the law when motoring, and I'm pretty sure that many drivers wont realise that there are laws in place for this.

With three quarters of dog owners carrying their dog in their car at some time, and given that there are 8.5 million of them in the UK, it is not a small problem. A lot of journeys are being made with unrestrained dogs and some of them will be in company cars and vans.

Clearly, having a dog moving around inside a vehicle can be distracting and the potential for injury in the event of a collision caused by an animal being catapulted forward within the cabin is enormous.

A customer recently raised this issue with us and asked for our advice, but a quick straw poll of the Arval office showed that, out of the many hundreds of fleet policies that our consultancy team have read, no-one could remember having previously seen any mention of the subject.

Many fleet policies mention that children must be restrained within vehicles in line with legal requirements, so why not dogs and other animals? It is something that we will recommend as a matter of general good practice in the future.

We've also produced a guide to carrying pets for our customers, covering not just the subject of restraint but other key considerations such as fitting sunshades, hydration and turning off airbags.

It's not a topic that many people think about, and that's probably something that needs to change.

Shaun Sadlier is head of consulting at Arval