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Discussion Starter #1
I am sure some of you have already read of the tragic accident that occurred on the M40. Three ladies were travelling to a dog show, with a camper van and their 12 dogs.

The van broke down, was parked on the hard shoulder and apparently the RAC refused to attend because of the dogs. The dogs were contained in the van and I've read that the RAC wouldn't even tow the van to a safer location.

The van was parked on the hard shoulder in the dark for three hours - until a lorry drove into it. Very sadly three of the dogs were killed and some went missing (though they have now been found safely). Two of the people were injured. The photos of the smashed up van are horrible. I can't quite imagine how frightened they must all have been and how devastated they must all be feeling now :cry:

A friend has checked her RAC policy and been advised that it is "at the discretion of the recovery driver if he chooses to recover the vehicle if there are dogs on board."

I'd suggest, if you travel with your dogs, that you check your policy, whether you are with the RAC or another company.

There are a lot of angry messages on the RAC page right now. A tragedy that could have been avoided, had they just agreed to tow the camper van to safety. Heartbreaking.
 
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I know the AA only take dogs at the Recovery Driver's discretion too, because I checked a few years ago. I'm still with them though and so far *touching wood* they haven't refused to attend or to tow us home. It is something which always crosses my mind when I have to call them out though. I don't think, on first contact, I've ever told them I have dogs in the car (not deliberately, it just isn't a question they ask routinely), so whether the actual recovery men/women find it harder to refuse to help you face to face, I don't know. Thankfully they have all been lovely and helpful, so far.

I don't know if any other vehicle recovery company has a different policy on carrying dogs, but I'd imagine most of the larger ones would be much the same.

I saw those photos a few mins ago....Scary! It just makes you realise how fragile camper vans are, as there was virtually nothing left of that one. I'm amazed anyone got out of it alive.

So glad the missing Corgis have all been found now.
 

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As a camper van owner with 3 pooches that terrifies me. The RAC man is directly responsible for that accident, and I hope they throw the book at him. No one should be left sitting on the hard shoulder by a rescue vehicle as the magnetic attraction for Lorries is a known phenomenon. Bad enough having to sit there before help arrives but to have it arrive and then help refused is unbelievable. What's in the back is irrelevant.

PS I'm assuming he wasn't having to go in the cab with 12 unrestrained corgis?

Off to check the RAC rules and regs :evil:
 

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Terrible, disgusting service. Happy to take your money but then refuse to provide the service you pay for. I've looked on the AA web site and can't find any mention that they don't help you if you have a dog in the car.
 

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As a camper van owner with 3 pooches that terrifies me. The RAC man is directly responsible for that accident, and I hope they throw the book at him. No one should be left sitting on the hard shoulder by a rescue vehicle as the magnetic attraction for Lorries is a known phenomenon. Bad enough having to sit there before help arrives but to have it arrive and then help refused is unbelievable. What's in the back is irrelevant.

Off to check the RAC rules and regs :evil:
 
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elsarivka said:
I've looked on the AA web site and can't find any mention that they don't help you if you have a dog in the car.
This is from their T&Cs

Transport of any animal is discretionary, and horses and livestock will not be recovered;
 

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Oh dear.I really feel these recovery people should get their acts together,and provide a service for dogs,and cats,when involved in breakdowns etc.I say cats because a lot of people now take them camping.Very sad case.
 

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Holy moly! Do farmers have different insurance then? (thinking of people with horses and livestock, and my cousin in particular) Going to look at our insurance as Pepper comes out with us quite a lot.

Hannah & Pepper xx
 

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Cross posted from the pet forum

So I'm asthmatic and am allergic to dogs, should your dog bring on an asthma attack I will struggle to drive and put all of our lives in danger. Don't worry though I will risk killing us all because I don't want to be considered an arse.

Your dogs are unrestrained in your vehicle, I have to tow that vehicle with your dogs bouncing about changing the weight balance on the towing vehicle. Your type of vehicle is prone to snaking when being towed and repeated changes in the weight, bought about by dogs moving from side to side in the vehicle will increase that possibility. Plus the dogs are unrestrained and likely to panic as a tow vehicle driver, I will be risking them escaping onto the motorway and risking our lives plus the lives of other road users. Plus its against the law to transport an unrestrained dog in a vehicle. Don't worry though I don't want to be an arse so I will transport them anyway.

The Maximum payload for your motorhome is 1400kg you have an awning, clothing for 3 people, water already loaded plus 12 dogs with crates in your vehicle. This puts you at least 200kg over your payload the towing bracket on your vehicle isn't designed to take that extra weight. I risk it breaking during towing as such your vehicle is likely to end up loose on the carriageway.

I only got this job last week after being unemployed for 12 months I have 4 children who need food and clothing. Company policy states I can't transport livestock but our larger vehicle can. I daren't risk my job.

All hypothetical but possible.

I agree leaving the recovery vehicle with flashing lights behind the van should have been done. However we don't know if he was called out to another vehicle that took greater priority such as a lone woman and child.

We are all advised to carry a warning triangle to place behind our broken down vehicles, this would have helped.

-----------------


Interesting take on things above.

You cannot say the RAC man was 'directly responsible'. The only person directly responsible was the truck driver.
 

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It is a tragedy.

So glad the missing Corgi was recovered and no human was killed.

To be fair to the RAC all companies have the same policy and they were sending out a specialist vehicle which was on the way, just not in time sadly.

Our thoughts are with those involved.

Mandy, Mike and Minnie
 

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I agree it is tragic :( , and my heart go's out to all involved.

The Post by Pipmont is totally correct regarding safety procedures in the case of breakdown, certainly in a camper the triangle is an essential for breakdown or puncture plus hazards, and the poor dogs should have been restrained in the camper, we have not got ours now but would never have left our 3 loose in the back, they would have been 3 missiles if we had been in an accident not to mention them getting loose which is what happened to these poor dogs :cry: .

It is hard to say where fault lies, I imagine there are a few very heartbroken people involved that will be beating themselves up right now.

RIP at the :rainbowbridge little dogs.
 
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Bcnbabe said:
Do farmers have different insurance then? (thinking of people with horses and livestock, and my cousin in particular)
Yes they do. The usual recovery companies don't have the equipment to deal with horseboxes or livestock lorries.

This a statement from the RAC on their FB page....

Following the terrible accident on the M40 we wanted to respond to members’ concerns to make it clear that we always attend broken-down vehicles carrying animals. As today’s incident involved a large motorhome we had to ensure the correct recovery vehicle attended. Sadly for all concerned, the recovery vehicle was on its way when the accident happened.

OK, this doesn't explain why the driver and passengers were still sat in the vehicle, or why the Police or another RAC truck wasn't in attendance, to make the vehicle more visible.

As for those who say they should have put out a warning triangle. You aren't supposed to use those on a motorway. I presume because it's too dangerous to put it out and then go and collect it.

leave the vehicle by the left-hand door and ensure your passengers do the same. You MUST leave any animals in the vehicle or, in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge. Never attempt to place a warning triangle on a motorway

Taken from here... https://www.gov.uk/breakdowns-and-incidents-274-to-287/additional-rules-for-motorways-275-to-278

It looks like lessons are to be learnt all round but that this was no one persons' fault....well apart from the truck driver who hit them, I suppose.
 

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Jesus never put a warning triangle on a motorway. A tad risky!!! Get out the car and onto verge. Go a little way towards traffic. Never sit down from your car. If u have to walk on hard shoulder to a phone or something never ever turn your back on the traffic.
And if are alone or the recovery is taking ages, a call to the police never goes amiss esp if late at night. It's in their interests to prevent an accident and even if not an officer, the police have a link with highways agency who could attend.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
In response to some of the comments made, everything I have read so far says the dogs were crated prior to the lorry hitting the van. Also, I don't think the women were expecting the recovery truck to take 12 dogs in the cab(!), rather to provide a vehicle to move the van to safety.
 

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-Angela- said:
In response to some of the comments made, everything I have read so far says the dogs were crated prior to the lorry hitting the van. Also, I don't think the women were expecting the recovery truck to take 12 dogs in the cab(!), rather to provide a vehicle to move the van to safety.[/quote

The more I have read about their real life nightmare makes me go cold imagining what they must have been going through :( .

Just being in a traffic jam for that amount of time is an ordeal, but being stuck in the freezing cold on the hard shoulder with no where to go is just too much of a horror for anyone.

Only once have I been in a similar situation and that was in France, it was a very narrow hard shoulder on a fast auto-route, fortunately hubby was able to fix our problem, but must say we had not been there more than 10 minutes before the gendarme turned up to offer assistance, it was a comforting feeling knowing that we had help if we needed it.

If nothing else hopefully it has given a lot of us something to consider when travelling.

June
 

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It is hard to make judgement without knowing all the facts BUT if my car broke down I would get the dogs out on leads and they would be with me on the verge. If in a crate, the crate would be out on the verge too.

I couldn't let the dogs stay in the vehicle whilst it was being towed as they would be terrified without me in there with them. Humans aren't allowed to travel in vehicle whilst being towed so I wouldn't leave my dogs in there. If the breakdown company refused to take the dogs in the cab I would make a BIG fuss with lots of tears!

I just hope I am never in that situation !

Chloe
 

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I have never broken down with Coco in the car but we broke down on the motorway a few years ago and got all of us out of the passenger side and up the embankment immediately. Highway Patrol were there within minutes and the breakdown company came out pretty quickly too.

I have a side opening back door (hinges on the passenger side) and Coco travels in a crate. It's hard to know what to do for the best - leave her in the car or risk my own safety whilst getting her out, not to mention risking her safety whilst getting her out - would she bolt before I got the lead on?)

I hope it is something I never have to think about. I had a serious panic in August though when I was driving down the M1 to the British Flyball Championships - rushhour, rain, fast lane etc and the engine started coughing and spluttering 8O Fortunately I was able to move over and slow down, the spluttering stopped and it was ok for the rest of the journey.
 
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