More traffic accidents caused by pets

According to a study by the DGT, the RACE Foundation and Royal Canin, accidents and claims involving pets are growing year after year. Dogs are the most affected, with 90% of run overs on interurban roads. These data are already causing an increase in insurance policies and they should serve to encourage pet owners to increase security measures to avoid risks.

In our country the number of pets per 1,000 inhabitants continues to grow year after year. In 2019, 40% of Spanish households were multispecies and in 2021 this percentage already reached 50%, with dogs widely leading the ranking of pets.

Logically, this increase means that there have also been increased statistics of accidents caused by petsHence, the DGT has been warning of the increase in traffic accidents caused by dogs and cats for some time.

In this sense, the owners have to be aware that responsible ownership not only has to do with not abandoning of pets and with the facilitation of nutritional and veterinary care that ensures the quality of life of our companion animals, but also with a behavior that prevents our pets from causing accidents.

The numbers of the problem

Thanks to the data provided by the DGT, the RACE Foundation and Royal Canin, and which are the result of a study carried out between 2016 and 2020, of the almost 1,000 accidents with victims caused by pet accidents on interurban roads, at least 90% were related to dogs and 10% with cats.

pet accidents on highways

During that period of time the annual average of accidents with victims was 200with 2016 and 2019 being the years with the highest number of claims and 2020 the year with the fewest with a 30% reduction in claims due to the pandemic and confinement.

In addition, several points of special risk were identified. Six of those with the most accidents are found in Andalusia, while the other two are located in Badajoz and Albacete.

If accidents without victims but with material damage are also taken into account, we find almost 18,500 pet accident claims. Of these incidents, in 94% the causative animal was a dog and in 5% a cat. In this sense, the worst year was 2018, again observing a significant reduction in 2020.

How to prevent the risks

The seriousness of this type of accident extends both to the people involved and to the animals, which in most cases they die due to injuries.

On the other hand, these risks generate a significant economic expense for the owners of the animals from the point of view of insurance, which already includes penalties in the policies.

Prevention is always the safest and most responsible option. On the one hand, drivers must always travel at the speed set by the road, paying attention to the margins of the road to anticipate the reactions of a possible nearby animal, especially in areas where vegetation is close to the road.

dog and cat accidents according to DGT data

Cat owners living in street-side homes can use nets and screens to prevent escapes, while dogs must always walk on a leash except in authorized areas. In addition, the control of feral cat colonies through sterilization and controlled feeding reduces the movement of individuals and reduces their population.

When traveling, when animals are close to high-speed roads, a series of basic precautions must be followed. Dogs must always remain on a short leash, while cats must not leave their carrier.

Also, We must follow the safety instructions during the transfer and use approved accessories that prevent pets from accessing the front seats or escaping in a possible mistake.

In addition, from the RACE Foundation they urge town halls and public administrations to carry out audits to identify the causes of these accidents and try to put solutionssuch as, for example, carrying out proper maintenance of the roadsides that allow anticipating the appearance of animals, fences that prevent access to the road or speed controls at risk points.

dog veterinary insurance