Secure your pet on the road

A test of popular pet harnesses has revealed that most are not effective in restraining pets in even a low speed collision.

Tests carried out at IAG’s research centre showed that an unrestrained pet travelling in the back seat of a car would hit the dashboard with enough force to seriously injury the animal, even at low speeds. 
This is not only dangerous for pets, but for drivers and passengers as well. 
An effective pet harness is critical to travel safely with your pet – but our testing showed that many harnesses on the market do not adequately restrain pets.
Out of 25 harnesses tested, only 2 managed to restrain life-sized dog crash dummies in an impact at 35 kph.
The only two harnesses that didn’t fail were the Purina Roadie harness and the Sleepypod Clickit harness. Unlike the other harnesses, the adjusting buckles and webbing stood up to both the 35km/h drop test and in-car low speed crash test of up to 20km/h.  
IAG Head of Research Robert McDonald explained the testing was undertaken to urge pet owners to consider the safety of their pets and passengers when travelling in vehicles.
 “Most people using the commonly available harnesses are doing so in a genuine attempt to keep their pets safe. However our testing has unfortunately shown that most harnesses, while effective at restraining pets, are not safety devices and do little to prevent injury in a common low speed crash. 
“An effective harness is critical when travelling with a pet as it keeps the animal safe and restrained and avoids the driver being distracted while driving with the animal moving around inside the vehicle. In a collision, an unrestrained pet also has the potential to injure the other passengers in the vehicle.  
“Many dogs weigh over 20kg with some over 50kg. The Purina Roadie harness proved effective at restraining dogs up to 35kg, while the more expensive Sleepypod Clickit harness tested to be more suitable for larger animals,” said Mr McDonald.
“Just as you restrain a child in the car, we want to urge all dog owners to consider these results and ensure their furry friend is secured safely when travelling in the car,” said McDonald. 
The testing was conducted by dropping weighted harnesses at speeds of up to 35km/h. The in-car testing was conducted using a specially modified crash test car at speeds of up to 20km/h.  The tests were completed at the IAG Insurance Research Centre in Sydney.