Study: Vehicle Pet Restraints Deemed Unsafe

By Trevor Dorchies | June 19, 2012
Contrary to popular belief, safety restraints might not help everyone. According to a study conducted by the Center for Pet Safety, pet safety restraints used in vehicles may be unsafe. In the event of an accident, even if your pet is strapped in with the necessary safety harness, it may still be thrown from the vehicle. Certain tests indicated severe injury or even death can occur as well. "With tens of millions of dogs traveling with their families every year, the use of pet travel safety restraints is at an all-time high," Lindsey Wolko, founder and chairman of the Center for Pet Safety told the Midland Daily News. "Safety advocates, travel associations and now law enforcement agencies are recommending or mandating the use of pet safety restraints. But how does the consumer know that the pet harnesses and crates actually protect their pet in the case of an accident? There are currently no official standards to measure performance success, nor are manufacturers required to test their products for this category of pet product. So who says 'safe' is safe?" The test subject was a crash test dog which was designed specifically for testing purposes. The dog was weighted similar to a real live pooch and outfitted with the proper instruments to collect data. The results from this study will be used to author more studies of particular pet harnesses to develop performance guidelines and other testing procedures.
To conduct the study, the Center for Pet Safety purchased 12 harnesses with the sizes being dictated by the American Kennel Club's 2010 most popular dog breed list. Out of the top 10 dogs on the American Kennel Club's list, six dogs fell under the "large" category and the proper size harness was purchased. Those conducting the study randomly picked four popular harnesses to act as the test group and it was concluded that all four failed the test. Guidelines for the testing were provided by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 for child safety seats. This standard is commonly accepted with both pet product manufacturers and pet safety advocates. What say you? Do you use a harness for your pet when they travel in the car with you? Tell us what you do in the comment section below. Source: Midland Daily News