Taking care of Lassie!

Dogs are often the forgotten family member when it comes to car safety – with tragic consequences for all.

 

The lengths we go to keep ourselves safe while driving often don’t apply to one beloved family member – Rover or Lassie in the back. Too often, dogs are left unrestrained on a rear seat or simply separated by flimsy netting.

 

If an accident occurs, modern safety features such as seat belts, airbags, crumple zones and ABS mean occupants stand a good chance of surviving or escaping with minor injuries. But an unrestrained pet in the car can suddenly become a dangerous projectile – with tragic consequences for the animal and other occupants.

 

If a car crashes at a speed of 40km/h (25mp/h), an airborne dog can develop projection forces equaling 40 times its weight. For example, a German shepherd weighing 35 kilos (77 pounds) can hit with a force of 1,400 kilos (3087 pounds). The damage this can wreak as it progresses through the cabin and, sometimes, out the front windscreen, can be imagined.

 

One car, two dog dummies, one wall.

 

To highlight the dangers, the Allianz Centre for Technology (AZT) recently staged a crash test using dogs. Lifelike dog replicas – let’s call them Bobby and Max - were installed in a car at the test facilities near Munich, Germany, and the car then driven against a wall.

 

Max, the unsecured dog dummy, shot through the interior smashing violently into the dashboard. Bobby, the smaller harnessed dog, remained in place on the backseat. 

Properly securing your pet is extremely important.
Properly securing your pet is extremely important.
Dog dummies visualize the damage an unrestrained pet in the car can wreak as it progresses through the car.

Dog dummies visualize the damage an unrestrained pet in the car can wreak as it progresses through the car.

The AZT says that properly securing your dog improves the chances that all your loved ones will survive a collision. If the animal is restrained, it will also ensure that your terrified pet won’t flee from the accident scene or obstruct any rescue services working to reach you. And with Fido safely strapped away, you can confidently keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel.

 

Properly securing your pet is extremely important

 

Carsten Reinkemeyer, head of Vehicle Technology and Safety at AZT recommends securing your dog with a harness attached to the seat belt for dogs up till twelve kilos (26 pounds), like Bobby in the video. Larger dogs should travel in secure travel cages in the rear of your car because harnesses allow for too much forward displacement. As a consequence, a larger dog can smash into the front seat, even when belted with a harness.

 

Locked car: summer danger for pets

 

Experts also warn dog or pet owners to never leave their pets in the car in the summer or on very sunny days. The locked vehicle can become a burning oven within minutes, not leaving enough oxygen for the poor pet.

The Allianz Centre for Technology crash test demonstrates that already a small dog can turn into a dangerous projectile.
The Allianz Centre for Technology crash test demonstrates that already a small dog can turn into a dangerous projectile.

As with all content published on this site, these statements are subject to our Forward Looking Statement disclaimer:

 

Katerina Piro
Allianz SE
Phone +49.89.3800-16048
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