Naturally we all care about the safety of our passengers. But who really gives much thought to the safest possible way of transporting pets in the car? Personally, I don’t have a dog, but one thing is absolutely clear: it is extremely risky to have dogs jump about on passenger seats or in the back of the car. Hubert Paulus, safety expert of the ADAC (German Automobile Association), says: “Animals should be contained while driving. This is also important with regard to your own safety.”
And this is why: Even in a minor accident, your beloved pet can be transformed into a deadly bullet, which endangers your life and that of your passengers. Crash tests have shown that even small dogs, which are not secured in the car, can pose substantial dangers when being thrown through the car interior. In an accident with 30mph, a 30-kilogram dog hits an object with up to 30 times its weight, i.e. with approx. 900kg.
This impact is not just sufficient to injure passengers, but also to cause serious damage to seats and other securing mechanisms. This means that the passengers are at an increased risk of injury and the animal faces certain death. Although there is no definite regulation concerning the securing of animals, section 23 of the German Road Traffic Act requires drivers to ensure that their load (this includes animals) does not endanger traffic safety. Therefore, it is advisable to use the safety systems, which are offered by various accessories manufacturers.
These systems and devices don’t just increase the physical safety of people and animals, but also prevent pets from wandering about unexpectedly in the car and distracting the driver from driving. This danger should not be underestimated, even if the pet is very well behaved – insurers regard such cases as gross negligence and will not accept claims for costs. For this reason, an accident will also turn into s serious financial burden.
Once the decision for a securing system has been made, and as well as coming to terms with the correct fixing mechanism, it also needs to be considered that animals require a certain amount of time to get used to transport boxes and other devices. It is best to give them the chance to get to know the new accessory in their normal environment – to have a test session, so to say.