Dog safety and canine seat belts have taken a new turn when discussions reached the legislative branch of the many state governments. It leads one to wonder, is this all-political mumbo jumbo or is there something behind all this political maneuvering? Are politicians trying to look family friendly or does dogs really need to be restrained?
The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that 20 to 30 percent of all motor vehicle crashes are due to driver distraction. AA & A did a similar study on driver distraction. They found that radio was the number one driver distraction followed by children and pets.
These studies lead you to believe that canine restraints may have some merit in preventing automobile accidents. Whether legislation is necessary, to require such action is yet to be seen. However, if these reports are accurate, then more studies should be done to see if canine restraint would prevent accident. Only time will tell though, it does look promising.
Protect Passengers from Injury
Statistically, when traveling 30 miles per hour a 30-pound dog will exert about 900 pounds of force in an accident. Since the majority of accidents do occur within a 10-mile radius of the home, it would not be unusual for a dog to be in the car going 30 miles an hour unrestrained as most residential streets have 30-mile speed limits.
While no studies have been done on how many people have been injured by dogs, there should be. The potential for injury here is obvious. Even when you think about a tiny dog weighing 15 pounds in a school zone, the dog could fly through the windshield with a force of 300 pounds of force. That tiny dog could seriously injure a child and we have all seen dogs in cars as we have picked up our children from school.
Protect the Pet
Of all the reasons I have seen stated for enabling a canine seat belt, this has the most merit. This is the only reason that has undeniable proof. There is no doubt that when you put your dog in a canine seat belt, you are protecting your dog from injury in a car accident. The seat belt works in the same fashion that buckling yourself or your children works.
However, the seatbelt works in one additional way as well. In addition to protecting your dog during the accident, it protects your dog after the accident. The canine seat belts will prevent the dog from running off after the accident. It will also keep the dog restrained until animal services can get there to take care of the dog. You, your family, and emergency services do not need to worry about a dog running around scared during an accident. It is best that the dog remain restrained until it can be taken care of properly.