When it comes to Subaru drivers, you are all family to us, and that includes your furry friends as well. Crash-testing vehicles to make sure our drivers are safe in collisions is nothing new, but what about protecting our pets? Subaru has always been proudly pet-friendly, so we want to raise awareness for pet safety with the funding of crash-testing by the Center for Pet safety.
“Safety for all passengers, including our pets, is very important to Subaru and to our drivers. Selecting the wrong harness could be just as detrimental as not using one at all,” said Michael McHale, director of communications at Subaru of America, Inc. “Most pet owners don’t know the dangers of not properly harnessing their pet while in the car. With nearly half of Subaru drivers also being dog owners, we want them to be as informed as possible.”
What we are testing
Of course, real dogs were not used in the testing process. The tests used three dummy dogs: a 25 pound terrier, a 45 pound collie and a 75 pound golden retriever. They were each used with the usual devices pet owners use for their pets in vehicles:nets, crates, tethers and cages. All of these are supposed to keep your dog safe when you are driving.
Each dog was put in a crash test scenario to see how effective each device was in a collision. Subaru's tests were performed at a Virginia laboratory that tests child seats by speeding the vehicle down a track and stopping abruptly.
What we have found so far
Our tests shows that a dog tether easily breaks and cannot withstand any impact 100% of the time. This puts your dog at risk of launching forward in your vehicle in the case of a collision. Harnesses are definitely not the answer to keeping your pet safe in the vehicle. More research definitely needs to happen to find ways to strengthen these pet safety devices.
Subaru is hoping that its recent research will help to boost awareness about pet safety, and eventually get organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on board with making this a mandatory part of vehicle safety testing.