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Picture of small animalsHow to Share This Planet With The Animals...

The Looking-Glass and VeggieGlobal
Animal Highway Code

Not as silly as it sounds. Animals also need protection from people who do daft things when driving, just as people do themselves.
And ... this isn't only when travelling inside a car. You need to consider the safety of your animals if you live near roads - whether they are busy or not.

Inside The Car

Never allow your dog to ride in the front seat. If you have a hatch-back / estate then fit rear compartment dog bars so that animals can ride in the back of the vehicle without the risk of being thrown forward in the event of a front impact. If you have a standard car, make sure your dog stays on the floor of the back seating area. Put a rug on the floor to make the animal more comfortable.
In general, you should never leave an animal in a car. If you really have no choice but to leave a dog in a car then the absolute maximum period on cloudy days would be 40 minutes - and 15 minutes absolute maximum on hot sunny days. On hot days always park in the shade whenever possible. Always leave a window open - around two inches. If possible, open your sunroof a couple of inches as well. Preferably use a window grill in the gap to prevent passing children putting their hands through the window. On hot, sunny days use reflective window shades to cover all the windows where sunlight shines directly into the car. Leave a bowl of water on the car floor and something for the dog to chew on (rather than the upholstery!).

Outside The Car

No1 Rule.... KILL YOUR SPEED!!!
Speed statistics based on human road fatalities also apply to animals.... The faster you drive the more likely you are to cause death or injury. Of course, when you drive through cities, towns and villages you face the greater possibility of hitting much loved domestic pets.
But on country roads where there are far less people, you also face the high risk of hitting a wild animal or bird.
The countryside is home to all kinds of wildlife that keep very different sleeping hours from us humans. If you think that driving at high speeds on country roads at night is a quite, sleepy time for the animals then you are very much mistaken!
The hours of darkness can be the busiest time of the day for many animal species. A lot of animals are nocturnal and spend hours each night foraging for food. Even in suburban areas, foxes, badgers, hedgehogs, deer - and other wildlife native to your own part of the world - will often wander onto road areas at night when they are empty of pedestrians. Animals are often drawn to roads on cold nights because the surface retains heat from the daytime sunshine. Many night-flying birds are attracted or confused by headlights and can easily fly straight into them. Although fewer at night, cars are driven even faster on empty roads. Dawn is also the busiest time of the day for animal movement and you'll often find many birds swooping across roads as the sun rises. Animals will also be making their way back to their homes.
The combination of migration routes, trips to breeding grounds, warm roads, blinding headlights and fast driving spells disaster, and means that thousands of wild animals are killed on roads around the world each day... and mostly at night.


When driving past horses slow right down to jogging pace and keep your distance. Do not rev up your vehicle and never use your horn. you should only overtake a horse when there is plenty of space to pass horse and rider, leaving a very wide berth. Don't try overtaking when there is any sign of oncoming traffic. Pass the horse slowly and with great care.

A Word about Toads

Toads are becoming vary scarce. As more of their natural wetlands disappear through urban development - and suitable garden ponds continue to disappear, there are increasingly fewer places left for them to breed**. Toads are slow moving and have to travel miles to find ponds to breed and spawn. This means that they inevitably have to cross roads (slowly) on their long journey. Some thoughtful toad groups and individuals have put up road signs where there are known toad populations. Please take notice of them and in the breeding season (around spring) take special care when driving. If you see a toad trying to get across the road then stop and pick it up and help it on its journey. (European toads are totally harmless and can generally be handled without protection)

The Forgotten World of Insects when Driving

Just because some creatures of the world are tiny doesn't mean they are a less important. All living things are part of an important thread that weaves the vast tapestry of life on earth.
Moths are a prime example of small creatures which might be considered the almost invisble victims of "road kill" - and millions are hit by cars each day. Close up, moths reveal themselves to be an incredible and beautifully delicate life-form. There are a huge variety of moth species, but many are now extremely rare and in steep decline, no thanks to the headlights of cars and trucks. A moth's instinct is to fly towards light - and full beam headlights are the most deadly attraction. There is a simple way you can dramatically reduce this carnage. When you are driving through narrow country lanes full of flying insects attracted to the lights of your car, first, SLOW DOWN and DIP your headlights to compensate. You'll notice that far fewer moths will fly into your lights ... and even though you may never see them up close, you may well be helping to save rare local species.
Recent research has also shown that the billions of insects killed by vehicles each year means a vast reduction of the natural food supply for birds and bats, which would normally eat them.
So ... slowing down on country roads will help reduce "insect impact".

A Final Thought on Driving and Animal Life

Fast drivers look fools ... not flash.
You've bought your stylish car with a kicking sound system and cool interior - so why do you want to single-mindedly rampage around as quickly as you can from A to B? If you want to enjoy the sumptuous environment and gadgetry of your vehicle - and in turn respect the welfare of the animal inhabitants (and people) who live and walk by the roadside - then slow down and relax into the driving experience. Chill ... drive at a calm, friendly pace and reserve a thought for the world outside your cozy cocoon on wheels.

Continue to >>> Pet Rules for the Home and Moving House >>>

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