Note: This is a guest post from pet lifestyle expert Sandy Robins. Car safety is such a no-brainer… for us! But do you take your dog’s safety into consideration? I know that I don’t do as good of a job as I should, but these tips inspired me to implement some additional safety measures!
We all remember the “hoo-hah” when the paparazzi photographed Brittney Spears driving around with her baby on her lap. Yet how often do you see people driving around with dogs sitting on laps and no one bats an eyelid?
The danger is actually one and the same.
It’s interesting too that we are conscientious about strapping down luggage for a road trip but are happy to let out pets bounce around on the back seat.
According to statistics published by Toyota, a 60 lb dog travelling in a vehicle at 35 mph turns into a 2 700 lb projectile if that vehicle suddenly has to break. And the chances of a pet distracting the driver are very real because unrestrained pets are the third biggest distraction in car after cell phones and dash dining.
Well, hopefully things are about to change as the automaker has made pet safety in vehicles its new pet project. To make pet lovers aware that they are taking this commitment seriously, they have publically acknowledged that there are extending their definition of customer to include the family dog and cat and are now designing cars with special features to make their vehicles more pet friendly.
Pet friendly features comprise the careful positioning of air-conditioning vents to ensure that the entire vehicle especially the cargo sections in crossovers and SUVs remain cool. It includes plenty of D-rings all over the vehicle so that pets wearing harnesses and leashes can be safely restrained and lots of extra storage space for pet paraphernalia from food and water to toys for road trips. And rear view cameras to ensure there are no pets in the driveway when you are backing out.
When it comes to crossover vehicles like the Venza and SUVS like the Highlander, the Sienna, the Sequoia, the cargo sections are being specially designed to hold at least two large crates that in turn can be strapped into place.
Further, special pet-friendly accessories, are now being sold at Toyota dealerships so that pet parents can purchase them at the time of the purchase of the car.
Here’s the bottom line; for every excuse for an unrestrained pet, then is now a practical answer.
Excuse: I have a small dog and he loves to look out window so I put him on my lap so that he can see out.
Answer: A special doggie booster seat, designed along the lines of a baby car seat will give a small pet a great view of the passing parade while being safely strapped in at the same time.
Excuse: My dog is so excited when we get in the car I can’t stop him jumping from the front seat to the back.
Answer: A special safety device called a back seat barrier will block off the section between the front and the back and contain a dog in the back seat of the car.
Excuse: I can’t put my dog in a crate because he get’s restless on a long drive.
Answer: A dog wearing a harness can be given the use of the entire back seat by attaching the leash to a special zip line that gives freedom of movement but still contains the pet in the rear of the vehicle.
What has become obvious when I in talk to pet parents about restraining their pets in vehicles is that many pet lovers who adore their pets, just haven’t stopped to think that their furkids could be in jeopardy in a moving vehicle. But once aware, their attitude immediately changes.
30 years ago, mothers of small babies were in the same position campaigning for car seats for small children. Now we don’t think twice about strapping in our kids. It’s second nature.
What’s interesting is that many states have laws in appertaining to restraining pets in vehicles. Now its up to us pet lovers to see that they are implemented.
This simple action can save lives of both pets and people.
And there’s more thing to consider, in the event of an accident, unrestrained pets have often vanished from the scene in fright. It’s not worth taking a chance.
You can check out some of the cool pet accessories for vehicles at Kurgo or at your nearest Toyota dealership.
Pet lifestyle expert Sandy Robins is a member of Toyota’s Pet Influencer team to promote pet safety in all vehicles nationwide.