Car Safety: Subaru and Center for Pet Safety Test Harnesses

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November 7, 2013
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A while back, we wrote about Subaru teaming up with the Center for Pet Safety to see what is needed to create the safest ride for dogs in cars. The harnesses sold by pet stores currently proved to be less effective than we’ve all been led to believe.

Now, in the weeks that have passed, Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety have some test results to show the world. Of the seven types of dog harnesses tested, only one ranked as a “top performer” in the study. The other six exhibited everything from stitching and hardware problems to failing in such a way that the fake test dog became a projectile or was released from the restraint, in short, the very thing harnesses are meant to prevent.

These tests brought to light the fact that there is no standard or uniform measurement for companies that make car seat dog harnesses to follow. Promotional content of the companies marketing the harnesses may mislead customers by claiming their harnesses will keep dogs safe, yet, they have never tested them to know for sure.

That’s where Subaru and the Center for Pet Safety step in and have been studying the following: (1) what type of harness is needed (2) what dangers do unharnessed dogs pose in car accidents and (3) does the force of an accident and size of dog play major variables with the restraints used?

For the study used so far, three different sized fake dogs were used – a small 25lb terrier, a 45lb border collie, and a 75lb golden retriever to represent the most common sizes of dogs people own. Even though some of the restraints did a good job at keeping dogs in the backseat and in place, some failed, and some limited the spinal movements, but only one aced all the tests: The Clickit Dog Harness.

The Center for Pet Safety has been looking at the requirements of child safety seats as an outline of what to look and test for when measuring force, size of the dog, and restraint needed.

Although more testing and time is needed to see what type of restraint works best, if you are concerned about your dog’s safety, check out the Clickit Dog Harness. I wonder, if and when Subaru will release a car that has a specific dog restraint element.

Keep checking back as we will try to stay on top of this! To read more, check out the article on Wired and view the video they posted.

Photo from Wired

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