WARREN, N.J., June 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- In the coming months, thousands of families will pile into their cars and vans and head down the road for their summer vacations—and many of these families will bring their pets along for the ride. But traveling with pets can be risky for motorists and their furry (or scaly) passengers. Unrestrained pets in a moving motor vehicle can create a dangerous distraction to drivers. In the event of an accident or a sudden stop, pets can act as projectiles injuring passengers and themselves. And dogs and cats may jump out of car windows, causing other motorists to brake suddenly to avoid hitting them. "Pet owners often view their pets as part of the family and include them in their summer travel plans," said Christie Alderman, vice president of Chubb Personal Insurance. "But when it comes to safety, too many neglect to take steps to ensure the safety of their pets and themselves. Many vacationers also may be unaware that their four-legged passengers are not insured." Many states now require motorists to restrain their pets inside moving cars. Harnessing a dog or cat inside the car can help keep it from moving around the passenger area, which can be distracting to the driver. The harness may also keep a pet from jumping out the window. And, like seatbelts for human passengers, the harness can reduce the chance of injury to the pet and other passengers. Eight out of 10 pet owners will travel with their pets on vacation this year, according to Bark Buckle UP, an organization that promotes pet safety. With the rise in the number of pet-friendly hotels and resorts, it is now easier than ever to include Fido in holiday plans. "We understand the desire of families to bring their pets with them on vacation, which is why Chubb includes coverage for pets in its auto policies," Alderman said. "Still, it's better to keep Pookie in a safety device than on your lap while driving."