Keeping Pets Safe During Car Travel

Traveling with your dog this Labor Day weekend?  The car company Volvo has released a report on keeping your pets safe while on the road.

The report is based on a survey of pet owners conducted with the Harris Poll organization.  Not surprisingly, the results show that Americans love to take their pets—especially dogs—on the road with them.

While we love to travel with our dogs (even more than with family members in many cases!) we do have some concerns about pets in cars.  This is especially true of millennials.

The survey found that pet owners will often leave their dogs at home due to safety concerns.

One of the biggest pet safety risks outlined in the report is unrestrained pets riding in cars.  Studies have found that loose pets in the car lead to distracted driving and other unsafe driving behaviors.

The report notes that many drivers would like to see built-in dog safety features in their cars.  Volvo describes the pet safety accessories they offer, including harnesses, gates, dividers, and protective grilles.

In the market for a new, dog-friendly car?  Check out these recommendations from Autotrader.


Restraining Your Dog While Driving

Why should you buckle up your dog?

According to Jennifer Davidson, the Manager of Traffic Advocacy at AAA, “people don’t realize how important it is to buckle up their dog. An unrestrained pet can become a hazardous projectile in the event of an accident or sudden stop, injuring himself, the driver and passengers.”

Furthermore, Davidson explains that an unrestrained, 10-lb. dog in a crash at 50 mph will exert approximately 500 lbs. of force, while an unrestrained, 90-lb. dog like the Feldmans’ dog Sally, traveling in a car at 30 mph in a crash, will exert about 2700 pounds of force.

The best gear to buckle up your pet

To protect a pet, the driver and other passengers, Davidson recommends that pet-owning drivers use a body harness specifically made for the car travel.

“As long as the dogs are belted in, a well- constructed body harness spreads the crash forces across the dog body,” explains Carl Goldberg, inventor of the Roadie Canine Vehicle Restraint Dog Car Harness/Seat Belt.

Goldberg first conceived of the Roadie after he slammed on his brakes to avoid a collision. As a result, his 100-lb. chocolate Lab was ejected from the seat and thrown into the windshield. Fortunately, Goldberg, his daughter or dog were not injured.

Originally, Goldberg designed the product with the help of a veterinary orthopedic surgeon and design engineer because he realized the importance of producing a canine restraint harness that would not choke or injure an animal upon impact. Over the years, he has slightly modified the product to enhance the quality as well as to have a better fitting product. Currently, the product is made in the USA in association with CoverCraft.

When asked why a harness is preferable to a crate when traveling by car, both Davidson and Goldberg agree that a secured crate could explode because a dog could hit the inside walls with such force that the crate could open up and the dog would be thrown out of the car.

Full Article on ZooToo