Safe Pet Travel
- Solvit Pet Vehicle Safety Harness
PetTravelCenter.com participated in an event over the weekend in Winston-Salem, NC called “Art Unleashed,” which was sponsored by the Forsyth County Humane Society. Musical entertainment, dog contests, delicious refreshments, business and art vendors, and a dog walk around Hanes Park were all part of the festivities.
Some of our booth visitors inquired about safe pet travel products, while others amazed us by their lack of knowledge of pet safety while traveling. Some of the comments we heard included,” Oh, my little pooch is so good, he just sits in my lap while I drive” to “If we were in a wreck, I wouldn’t want her confined by a seat belt harness where she couldn’t get out if she had to.”
It made us realize how much more work we need to do to promote safe pet travel. We often think about parents who treat their children with the same lack of concern, by letting them crawl inside the car with no restraint or holding their babies in their laps.
We’ve fortunate to be associated with such great safe pet travel advocacy groups, such as Bark Buckle UP, who work with emergency first responders and also attend numerous auto and pet trade shows throughout the year to promote their cause.
National safety statistics indicate the number of pets traveling in vehicles continues to grow — and so do the number of pet fatalities. “I’ll bet dog bones to dollars that 99.9 percent of pets travel unrestrained,” says Christina Selter, Bark Buckle UP’s founder. “Our mission is to make first responders — that is, police, firefighters and EMTs — aware of the fact that a pet may be a passenger in a car involved in a crash, and that they need to look out for, and care for, that animal if indeed it has been injured or has gone missing.
“Pet owners need to realize that it is just as important to buckle their pet up as it is to buckle themselves up when the get into a car,” says Selter. “We all know that wearing a seat belt saves human lives. Well, it saves pet lives, as well. It costs nothing to strap yourself into your seatbelt, but the cost of not wearing a seat belt can cost you your life. The same applies to your dog or cat.”
Crash tests show that a car traveling at 35 mph with an unrestrained 60-pound dog causes an impact of 2,700 pounds in a crash. That’s equivalent to an elephant crashing into a car seat, windshield or worse — a passenger. Chances are an animal cannot survive such an impact. A further difficulty is that an unrestrained pet can impede the progress of first responders. Every second counts in getting to those injured in a car crash. If the crash scene is complicated by a dog that has been injured, or worse yet, has escaped from the car and is frantically running loose, a secondary accident in which the dog runs into oncoming traffic can occur, causing additional injuries or even death.
Do your pet a favor (and your passengers and everyone else on the road). Practice safe pet travel.
Happy (and Safe) Pet Travels!
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