How Many Dogs Die in Car Accidents? New 2024 Stats

Are you traveling with your dog and interested in learning how dangerous it is? We’ve prepared the most important and eye-opening stats to show you what happens to dogs in accidents and how you can prevent it.

So, let’s dive in.

How Many Dogs Die in Car Accidents?

Unfortunately, there are no numbers that would suggest how many of them die in car crashes. But with a population of 90 million dogs in the US and half of the owners traveling or planning to travel with their dogs, the number is probably high.

Devastating Statistics About Dogs and Car Accidents 

These stats will show you just how dangerous car drives can be with unrestrained dogs in the car. Continue to find out more.

Every year, 100,000 dogs are killed by riding in pickup truck beds.

(SmartBrief, 2019)

It’s extremely dangerous, and even if they don’t get killed, they are in danger of being seriously injured and even paralyzed.

So, driving your dog in a passenger cabin with a suitable harness is essential. If they must be in the back, they should be in a secured crate.

Driving with your dog without a crate or harness can cost you $200 in Rhode Island.

(GoPetFriendly, 2019)

This is the only state with a law that fully prohibits driving with a dog without restraining them in any way. Only five other states have some laws protecting dogs in vehicles

Some states don’t have specific laws but can still choose to punish you if your case is deemed endangering or cruel to the animal.

It’s twice more dangerous to drive with an unsecured dog in a car.

(Volvo Cars, 2019)

A study has found that the number of risky driving behaviors increased from 274 with a restrained dog to 649 with an unrestrained one.

This makes the situation much more dangerous, potentially leading to severe injuries and even death of both the owner and the dog.

Approximately tens of thousands of accidents happen yearly because of unrestrained dogs. 

(FDA, 2021)

This means that more than 10,000 dogs are in accidents each year, getting either injured or killed. And at the same time, their owners are endangered too.

Just keep in mind that this is an approximation since the exact numbers are not currently available.

Only 55% of pet owners restrain their pets when driving.

(GoPetFriendly, 2018)

Moreover, 13.8% use a crate or a carrier, 33.3% use a seat belt/harness, and 7.9% have a pet barrier. However, we’d like to note that the numbers come from a smaller online survey, so the respondents’ nationality is not known.

Moreover, a study has found higher numbers in some countries, such as Australia and the UK. More precisely, 67% of Australian pet owners and 72% of UK pet owners secure their pet before going on a trip.

A 10-pound dog exerts 300 lbs of force in a 30 mph car accident.

(Pet Travel, 2020)

By being thrown with this force, a dog can easily break the glass and fall out, getting killed in the process. Or they can hit the driver or other passengers, breaking bones and causing even more serious injuries. 

This is why you should have specialized seat belt harnesses, as they can absorb most of the pressure and save your pet and you from more serious harm. 


It’s devastating that many dogs lose their lives in accidents in the US every year. Especially if it can be prevented. So, if you have a pet and love traveling with them, make sure to restrain them.

By doing so, you’re less likely to become a part of the above-listed statistics.


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