Finally! Independently Obtained Data on Pet Safety Restraints!

Posted: July 10, 2012 in Product Reviews, Safety
Tags: , , ,

A new organization, The Center for Pet Safety, has released data and videos from its pilot study on pet vehicle restraints today. The results are far from encouraging unfortunately. Of the four harnesses they tested, in both dynamic and static tests, not a single one restrained the canine crash dummy without injury. Three of the four tested harnesses are manufactured by companies that claim their products ARE tested in some way, too!

The CPS did not release the names of the companies whose restraints were tested and they do a good job of obscuring identifiable parts of the harnesses during the tests recorded on video, but of course there is certainly speculation about which harnesses are involved in the study.

Watching the four videos on CPS’s website about the pilot study does underline some common failure points:

  • If a dog is secured with clips or clasps, those often break first. In one video, the clip remained in place, but the D ring attaching it to the harness broke free almost immediately.
  • The front design of the harness is important to prevent neck and chest injuries. One harness almost decapitated the dummy when it slid upward during the crash simulation!
  • Adjustment points can allow the fit to shift during a crash. Another harness tightened across the dummy’s chest during the simulation, possibly causing additional injuries.
  • The amount of slack in the tether system used can allow too much forward motion. Several harnesses allowed the dummy to come in contact with the front seat, which could mean injuries for both dog and humans in the front seat!

I have always suspected that most crash testing is designed to ensure that the dog doesn’t become a flying projectile vs. actually preventing injury to the dog as well and, unfortunately, these tests seem to confirm that suspicion.

I did contact CPS to obtain the full report, and they have given me permission to share it with my readers here at Four Paw Drive. The document can be found here: https://docs.google.com/open?id=0BzMqXthoTWqPYUdiYXctNF9zeGc

I’m so happy to see The Center for Pet Safety working on studies of this nature, even if the results are disturbing. Perhaps having an independent assessment group will encourage various pet product manufacturers to improve their products so that they can keep both people and their pets safer in accidents.

If you agree, please consider donating to the cause! CPS is a non-profit organization and they need donations to continue studying various forms of pet restraint. To donate, please visit: http://centerforpetsafety.org/donate-today/ – they even take vehicle donations!

Note: Several of our facebook fans have already contacted well known companies about their involvement (or lack thereof) in this study; it will be interesting to see how the companies respond to these inquiries. If you do the same, please share any details you’re able to obtain with everyone here on the blog and/or on facebook! Well informed is well prepared!

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