Popular pet car restraints fail in safety test

Subaru teamed up with the nonprofit Center for Pet Safety to test four popular brands of pet car restraints, finding that none conferred protection in a 30 mph crash that used crash dummy dogs, and the devices may actually cause serious harm or death to pets or drivers. Further testing is planned, and researchers are working to develop standards for the restraints. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily

Subaru of America Inc. is partnering with the Center for Pet Safety to fund testing of car safety  restraints for pets.

Currently, there are no performance standards or test protocols in the U.S.  for pet travel products. Although many manufacturers claim to test their  products, without test standards, these claims cannot be substantiated. Subaru  and the Center for Pet Safety will create standards for testing restraints,  while announcing those that perform best.

The center, a non-profit research and advocacy organization based in  Washington, is dedicated to companion animal and consumer safety.

The Center for Pet Safety conducted a pilot study which showed that the  majority of pet safety restraints currently on the market do not provide  acceptable protection in a crash situation, says Michael McHale, Subaru’s  director of corporate communications.

“As many of our owners have dogs, we feel it’s our responsibility to help  them keep their pets as safe as possible when they journey with us,” McHale says  in a release.

The center conducted rigorous crash testing on commonly available pet safety  restraints using realistic, specially designed crash test dogs, not live  animals. A 55-pound crash dummy dog was used to see how the seatbelts would hold  up in a collision at 30 miles per hour, patterning the same motor vehicle safety  standards used to test child seats.

Of the four popular dog car harness brands, none held up in the tests. All of  them demonstrated that they either could lead to plausibly serious or fatal  injuries for not only the canine but the driver too.

Lawmakers in Subaru’s home state of New Jersey are the first to consider the  requirement of pet restraints when riding in vehicles.

The center has received requests from all over the world from manufacturers  who want guidance on developing a safer harness, says Lindsey Wolko, the founder  and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety, which is not affiliated with the pet  product industry.

“Through this partnership, we can finally conduct additional testing to help  develop a suitable standard, provide the needed knowledge-base to manufacturers,  as well as determine the top performers,” Wolko says in a release.

Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/194956/subaru-funds-pet-safety-restraint-testing.html#ixzz2MtpCJIxJ


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