The Center for Pet Safety (CPS) and Subaru recently released a collaborative study that tested the effectiveness of dog seatbelts and harnesses currently out on the market. The pet harness crash tests were designed by CPS which is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization. The crash tests for dog seatbelts aim to mimic similar tests that are done with child restraints and car seats.
Recognizing the importance of the testing CPS and Subaru teamed up. What the tests found was surprising and concerning even for those dog owners that use dog seatbelts. (That’s us!) There are some serious flaws in many of the popular pet restraints currently on the market. What CPS found was that many do not perform adequately and result in catastrophic failure.
CPS points out that there are currently no performance standards or test protocols in the U.S. for pet restraint systems. Some manufacturers say they test their products, however without an across the board testing protocol, some claims are difficult to be substantiated.Something that we asked recently was, “Do Dog Seatbelts really Protect your Dog?” Now we know the answer.
Some might be asking what was the goal of this study? CPS and Subaru hopes this encourages people to drive safely with their pets and that the performance data will assist in the future design and development of dog seatbelt standard and test protocols that the industry will adopt. In addition to this study The Center for Pet Safety is currently working on publishing a harness standard study that will be released later this year.
“Most pet owners don’t know the dangers of not properly harnessing their pet while in the car. With nearly half of Subaru drivers also being dog owners, we want them to be as informed as possible.” said Michael McHale, director of communications at Subaru of America, Inc.
Subaru and CPS enlisted MGA Research Corporation, an independent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) contracted testing laboratory, to conduct rigorous crash testing on commonly available pet safety harnesses using realistic, specially designed crash test dogs. Testing was performed using multiple, specially designed crash test dogs developed by CPS.
The crash tested dogs ranged in size and weight which included a 25 lb. terrier mix, a 45 lb. border collie and a 75 lb. golden retriever. The life-like dog models provided a realistic representation for testing purposes, similar to the testing conducted for human occupant safety. “I, like many people, consider my dog to be a part of my family, and dogs need to be secured with harnesses that have been tested for safety the same way car seats and seat belts that protect our family members have been tested, both for the pet’s safety as well as the safety of all passengers.” said Lindsey Wolko, founder and CEO of the Center for Pet Safety.
All harness manufacturers whose products graduated to crash testing in the study were issued courtesy invitations to attend when CPS and Subaru tested their products. Those companies that were unable to attend were contacted with their test results, and several companies are already working to make improvements and enhance quality control. Visit CPS’s website for more info: http://www.CenterforPetSafety.org