If you are a dog owner, you will eventually need to take your four-legged friend out of the house and into the car for a cruise. Whether it’s taking your usual daily trip to the dog park or traveling long distance to the cottage, you could probably benefit from brushing up on your doggy driving etiquette.
With the help from the professionals at , we have compiled a list of tips and tricks to make driving with your dog safe and stress-free while keeping the inside of your car clean!
1. First Things First, Prepare Your Vehicle.
Getting your vehicle ready before you start driving with your dog or any other pet is as important as getting your house ready before bringing a pet home for the first time. Just as you would want to have a dish, water and food for your pet in the house, your car should be equipped with those things just in case Bella needs nourishment. It can also be beneficial to have a bed or blanket to help them get comfortable and relaxed.
Similarly, keep a toy or two in the car. If doggy has all of the same things in the car that it does in your home, they will eventually start to see the vehicle as an extension of the home.
2. Train Your Dog To Like The Car
Yes, this is possible! Just as Pavlov taught his dogs to associate a whistle with food, you can train your dog to associate the car with good things. Instead of only taking your dog in the car when going to stressful places like the vet or groomers, make it a point to drive to places it can associate with food, treats, affection or play. You can start with trips to the dog park or walking trail.
Another idea is to drive to a nearby friend or family member’s home, and have someone waiting with a treat and plenty of belly rubs! Before doing any of this, though, you can start slowly by simply allowing your dog to spend some time in the car while parked in the garage (with the engine off, of course, so as to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning) that way they can get comfortable with the vehicle within the safety of your home and without the added stressor of movement.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Is Secure
Just like you wouldn’t want your family or friends to ride without a seatbelt, to drive with your pet unsecured. There are many different methods for securing your pup depending on the kind of car you have and the size of your pet. Harnesses that attach to you car’s existing seatbelts can be found in a variety of styles and sizes, allowing either the passenger or rear seats to safely accommodate your pet.
If you have a larger dog and drive a hatchback, SUV or minivan, you can opt for a gate that separates the cargo bay from the rest of the vehicle. Your pet will will be safely contained while still being able to see you and move around in the cargo area.
4. Keep Your Windows Rolled Up
Just about everyone is familiar with the cliche image of a happy dog riding in the car, head out of the window and the wind blowing back its tongue and ears. Unfortunately, what a lot of people don’t realize that, in addition to putting them at risk of being hit by something, having their head out can ultimately be bad for their health. The rush of air can have a negative effect on a dog’s respiratory system, even at relatively low speeds.
It’s okay to leave the windows open a crack so that your dog can still enjoy some fresh air and all of the exciting new smells you’ll encounter on the road without being able to stick their head or whole nose out.
5. Find Locations To Take Breaks
Long car trips can be a train not just for you or any other human passenger, but also for our canine companions. Short breaks along the way will provide them with a chance to stretch, run and play.
Expert tip: Before you leave, find the nicest forest trails or dog-friendly rest areas where your dog can get out and run, and to offer plenty of water at every break.
6. Don’t Leave Your Dog In The Car
You don’t need statistics to know that dogs die in hot cars. You wouldn’t leave your child in the car with no water on a 100-degree day, so why treat your do any differently? And the fact that dogs have fur puts them at an even of heatstroke.
In the cold, they will freeze despite their fur, so the best and smartest thing you can do on extremely hot or cold days is to keep your pet at home where it can remain comfortable.
Traffic Violations: How Online Traffic School Can Help You Meet Your Requirements
Everybody hates that feeling of being behind the wheel and noticing flashing lights in the rearview mirror. Let’s face it, sometimes that extra push on the gas or the stop sign you rolled through has consequences.
Many people choose traffic school as a way to remove points from their license, while those with more serious offenses require intensive driver safety courses due to court orders. Whatever the reason, online traffic school can be the best way to meet your requirements and regain any lost driving privileges.
What You Need to Know About A Point System?
Using Florida as an example, when you receive a ticket, a set number of points are added to your license depending on the offense. After getting the ticket, you have thirty days to pay it (your state or province might differ) and elect to attend a driver improvement school to keep the points off your record. You could also go to court and contest the ticket.
According to the (FLHSMV), the following point accumulations result in a suspension of driving privileges:
- 12 points in 12 months results in a 30-day suspension.
- 18 points in 18 months (including the points from the 12 point suspension) results in a 3 month suspension.
- 24 points in 36 months (including the 12 and 18 point suspension points) results in a one year suspension.
Points are also given for out-of-state traffic violations.
Since many count for three to four points, they add up fast. If your license is suspended or close to it, you should consider traffic school to remove points from your driving record. You could complete these classes once every 12 months up to five times in your lifetime. Advanced Driver Improvement Courses may be necessary if your license is already suspended or it is ordered by the court.
Why Choose Online Traffic School?
Online schools are a convenient way to reclaim those driver’s license points, prevent insurance premium increases, and fulfill court orders. Instead of attending a brick and mortar school, you have the opportunity to complete these classes wherever you have an internet connection, doing so at your own pace any time of the day or night. Even better, you don’t have to complete the course all at once — you can save your progress and return to the class as it fits your busy life.
Courses like the are approved by the State of Florida and the FLHSMV. They offer 4, 8, or 12 hour driver improvement classes depending on your particular needs or court orders. Once you complete the course, the American Safety Council automatically notifies the DMV to get the points taken off your driving record.
So, you made a few mistakes behind the wheel. This doesn’t mean you can’t learn from the experiences and move on with your life. Completing online traffic school courses is an affordable, convenient way to put traffic violations behind you and get back on the road.
Why Might Your Car Insurance Premiums Increase?
If your insurer has prompted you to renew your insurance, you might baulk at seeing your premium increase for another year of coverage. Insurance premiums can rise for a number of complex reasons that could have you scratching your head.
Sadly, if you are a UK driver, those premiums are likelier to rise than fall, as of £827 on average, reports the Express. Keep reading to find out the reasons why your rate might have increased.
You are hit by compensation payout increases
Last year, Insurance Premium Tax was hiked from 10% to 12%, partly due to whiplash and false compensation claims. The Ogden rate, which is used in calculating compensation payable to people who have suffered injury from a car crash, was also slashed.
This means insurers need to make further compensation outlay to car crash victims, and it’s customers who help them foot the bill.
You were caught using a phone while driving
Last year also saw the introduction of laws that doubled the penalty for motorists caught using their phones while driving. Today, such motorists would be slapped with a £200 fine and six penalty points; however, they could potentially also face an eye-watering increase in insurance premiums.
According to , these premiums could rise by as much as 40% when an offender is given the option to renew their policy… if they are given that option at all.
You have made a “no-fault” claim
Frustrating though it may be, your insurance could rise in cost if you have made a claim resulting from an accident for which you weren’t to blame.
Let’s assume that you have crashed into another car simply because, at a junction, its driver pulled out in front of you. Your insurer won’t deem you at fault for this accident but might still increase your premium because, statistics are to be believed, you are likelier to end up in another crash.
You have recently moved home
Moving to a new place or locale can be exciting, but even something so innocuous could wreak havoc on your premiums. For example, your new locale might have many more instances of car theft, giving your insurer good reason to send those premiums rocketing.
Taking up residence in a newly built house can be costly, too, but for an unexpected reason. As that home may not yet have been registered on your insurer’s database, the insurer may be hindered in their ability to accurately discern what risk the area poses to your vehicle.
As a result, you could be quoted premiums that seem strangely high considering what you personally know about the area. The the example of one driver, Doug Welch, who after moving to a Northamptonshire-based newly-built house, was quoted a renewal premium of £1,117 — nearly three times the £464 he had been paying with the same insurer!
The insurer later admitted to having access to little data about the area and decided to hold off charging Mr. Welch the full increase.
Your voluntary excess is too high
While your policy is likely to have come with a minimum excess when you first took out the insurance, you might have added a “voluntary excess” in an attempt to lower how much your insurer would need to pay for a claim – and, thus, also reduce your premium.
However, paradoxically, an excessive increase in the voluntary excess can add more expense to the policy. Using an insurance broker like can help you avoid getting caught out by nasty charges.
How To Get Started With Adult Driver’s Education Courses
Many people learned to drive when they were teenagers, but some never got the chance. Others took the necessary classes but didn’t pass, never attempting them again. Teenagers also aren’t as eager these days to learn to drive or own a car thanks to improved public transport and the rising cost of living, meaning there is an increasing number of generation Y waiting until adulthood before learning to drive or avoiding driving altogether.
Fortunately, cars aren’t going anywhere, at least not in the foreseeable future. Family- and work-life often necessitates a car. And for all the prior generation for societal reasons, it’s about time you buckled up for a new experience — it’s never too late to learn to drive.
Driving teacher Tim Danter says learning to drive as an adult can be more difficult, noting:
“There is definitely more anxiety. Sixteen-year-olds think they’re bulletproof; they have little fear. Adults are more mature, but they’ve also got more life experience and therefore understand that driving a car takes a lot of responsibility and a lot of care. That can make them more hesitant.”
Reflexes and coordination may also be diminished depending on the driver’s age.
Online Driver’s Education
Despite this challenge, the good news is that the DMV (for those in America) makes the process somewhat easier for adults. If you are over 18 and now seeking to get your driver’s permit for the first time, you can probably get your education online.
Driver’s education covers traffic rules, road safety and other relevant information. If you that’s provided online, you can learn from the comfort of your own home or office. The lessons can be completed at your own pace, at any time of day and on any device with an internet connection. They often include animation, videos and case studies to help you prepare in an engaging manner. Online driver’s education is also more affordable than traditional classes.
Even if you already know how to drive, adult driver’s education classes can still help you sharpen your skills. Taking one may even qualify you for a discount on your car insurance.
Who Needs Driver’s Ed?
The majority of U.S. states require at least some potential drivers to take adult driver’s education. However, they have different rules regarding people required to take the class. For example, in , it’s mandatory to complete a driver’s course if you are between 18 and 24. In Illinois, an adult driver’s education course is required if you are between the ages of 18 and 20, have never completed any kind of Driver’s Ed course, and are applying for a first-time state driver’s license.
The states also differ on whether you have to take a mandated number of behind-the-wheel lessons before taking the practical test.
Learning to drive as an adult can be difficult but not impossible. In fact, it is very doable. Your nerves and possible reduced reflexes might prove to be a hindrance, but at least you won’t have to sit in a classroom. There are many driving schools out there, but you shouldn’t just enroll in the first one you come across. Make sure the one you choose is approved by your respective government so that you get the necessary credit(s) for completing a course.
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