Modes of Transportation - In an Automobile

Automobile Safety and Pets

Here are a few tips on how to travel safely with your pet, whether it be a four-legged friend, a bird (whether in a cage or free) or a fish in an aquarium.

What the law says

Under section 442 of the Highway Safety Code, driving a road vehicle in which an animal obstructs your view or interferes with the proper handling of the vehicle is prohibited.

If you do so anyway, you are committing an offence and, in addition to risking an accident, you face a fine of $30 to $60.

Travelling with a pet means considering both your safety and that of your pet

In the event of an accident or sudden braking, the weight of your pet—and of its carrier (if there is one)—is multiplied by 20. That's quite the projectile!

Depending on the size of your pet, we recommend that you:

  • attach your pet using a harness
  • set up a safety net or barrier
  • place your pet in a pet carrier and use a seat belt to secure the carrier

Never drive with your pet in your lap... or on your shoulder

Not only is this prohibited, but, in addition to interfering with your driving, your pet could be seriously injured should the airbag be deployed.

Never let your pet stick its head or chest out the window

If the windows are rolled down too far, your pet could face any number of dangers: flying rocks, insects, vehicles that pass too close to yours. If a problem occurs, you may end up causing an accident, even if you are driving slowly.

For all these reasons, it is best to only roll your windows down enough to allow for good air circulation without compromising the safety of your pet.

Never leave your pet alone in your vehicle with all the windows rolled up

Pets are not immune to heatstroke. In a vehicle with all the windows rolled up and all the doors closed, the temperature can rise quickly and prove fatal.