As any Montgomery injury lawyer knows, driving with pets can be a dangerous proposition. Having a pet in the car can be a major distraction and can cause you to lose control of your vehicle or become involved in an accident if you are paying attention to your animal instead of the road. If an accident happens, your pet can also be ejected from the vehicle or can fly through the vehicle and potentially hit someone or something. This can result in your pet being seriously injured or killed, and your animal companion could also hurt car passengers.
One way that many pet owners try to keep their canine companions safe in the car is through the use of a pet harness. Unfortunately, unlike with human safety equipment, there have been no crash tests performed on pet harnesses and there has also been little research done into whether these harnesses are effective. That has changed now, though, as Yahoo reports that the Center for Pet Safety (CPS) has teamed up Subaru to conduct crash tests involving pet safety harnesses.
Pet Safety Harnesses May Not Be Doing the Job
Manufacturers of pet safety harnesses have long touted their products as safe, effective and tested. The problem, however, is that there were no uniform standards to judge these harnesses and no realistic tests performed under crash conditions.
CPS and Subaru have now both conducted testing and set guidelines going forward that will be used to develop safety standards for performance as well as test protocols of pet restraint systems.
The testing that has been conducted already by CPS and Subaru actually took place in two parts. CPS started by purchasing a variety of different harnesses, which were subject to a preliminary test of strength. If the harness proved strong enough by remaining in tact during the first testing phase– as 11 of the harnesses tested did– then the harness was used to secure an animal during a crash test.
Three different crash test dogs were created to represent different canine breeds. The dog crash test dummies included a 25-pount Terrier mix, a 45-pound Border Collie, and a 75-pound Golden Retriever. The crash test was then conducted based on FMVSS 213 standard, which is the same procedure that is used to determine whether child safety seats should be certified as sufficiently protective in an accident.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of the tested harnesses did not pass the crash test. Only one harness, the Sleepypod Clickit Utility, was able to keep the dog restrained in all of the tests performed. With other harnesses, the dog flew through the air or the harness otherwise failed to work, putting pet and passenger at risk.
Hopefully, with new testing standards and new industry guidelines being developed, manufacturers will be able to do a better job in the future to protect pets and passengers.
If you have been hurt in an accident, contact Allred & Allred P.C. for advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 334.396.9200.
More Blog Entries:
Injury Attorneys Urge Participation in Passenger Safety Week, Alabama Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2013