Seat belt safety for pets
When I was a kid, we all watched Batman on TV as he and Robin jumped into the Batmobile. Before taking off, both super heroes paused to buckle their seat belts. And if you wanted to be cool like the bat duo, you made certain you did the same.
Today, buckling up has become routine and the law in most states. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control, over half of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes were not wearing a seat belt. They recommend wearing seat belts as the most effective step you can take to keep yourself safe in a motor vehicle. Since 1975, it is estimated seat belts have saved over 250,000 lives.
Crash dummies are routinely used by auto makers to help improve car safety for human passengers. The Center for Pet Safety is now using a canine crash dummy to determine which pet seat belts provide the best safety for dogs. There are three different doggie dummies–a 25-pound terrier, 45-pound Border Collie, and 75-pound Golden Retriever. Most seat belts did not adequately restrain a dog. The Sleepypod’s Clickit three-point safety harness, however, did consistently keep the crash dog dummy from launching off the seat. Click here to read the full results and watch videos showing how the restraint protected all sizes of dogs. This testing is the first step in developing industry standards for designing doggie car restraints.
And in case you think this isn’t big news, car manufacturers are taking notes on this research. Subaru plans to start offering the Sleepypod Clickit restraint in their vehicles. So don’t be surprised if you start seeing dogs securely strapped into seats just like we expect with small children in car seats.
The American Automobile Association offers suggestions for making driving with your dog safe. Although 84 percent of people include their pets on car trips, only 16 percent restrain their dogs. Over half of owners pet their dogs while driving and 17 percent keep their dogs in their laps. These behaviors can distract the driver and are not safe for dog or human.