First Safety-Tested SeatBelt for Dogs!

by Mary Haight on July 20, 2013

first safety-tested seatbelt for dogsThe first safety-tested seatbelt for dogs has arrived in time for the family vacation! If you don’t know what all the fuss is about, this challenge began in March when the Center for Pet Safety revealed that none of the dog seatbelts on the market would save your dog in a 30-mile-an-hour crash. In fact, one of the dog crash test dummies was decapitated because the harness moved upward on the body (to the sensitive, do not watch that video – but do check out the others on the page).

Whatever claims of safety, the Center for Pet Safety notes since there are as yet no established standards the industry must follow, claims will not be tested until standards are in place. They have been working with Subaru to create standards based on science which should be ready shortly. At that time, manufacturers will be able to ask for certification on their seatbelt products. One company was not satisfied with waiting.

It’s no surprise to many that Sleepypod jumped ahead of the crowd — they have been known for reinventing pet products to improve design for more than 6 years.  Here’s what they did:

“Clickit Utility is similar in concept to the three-point seatbelt federally required in all vehicles.

Straps enclosed in Clickit Utility’s broad, padded vest hug the upper torso of a dog to absorb forward movement, while belts anchor the lower torso and reduce forward and lateral movement.

The three-point design that secures the dog in its space diminishes the opportunity for collision with parts of the vehicle and passengers, and reduces the chance for traumatic injuries associated with one-point dog safety harness designs that either catapult a dog’s upper torso forward into anything in its path like front seats, passengers, and even windows, or submarine the dog meaning to catapult the dog’s lower torso forward into anything in its path.”

Sleepypod used the same testing agency and test the Center for Pet Safety used to test the four leading brands of seatbelt restraints for dogs.

“Crash tested at the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 213 standard set for child safety restraints, Clickit Utility passed the 30 m.p.h. frontal crash. Clickit Utility’s three-point design is intended for use in the rear passenger seat.

Clickit Utility is also designed to secure a dog in the cargo area of a sports utility vehicle or truck in two-point application by attaching to cargo anchors. Accredited crash test facilities do not test for human safety in the cargo area of a vehicle.

In lieu, Sleepypod crash tested Clickit Utility’s two-point application at the FMVSS No. 213 standard. The two-point
application also passed the 30 m.p.h. frontal crash test in a rear passenger seat which has more opportunity for collision
with fixed objects and other passengers than in a vehicle cargo area’s generous space.

Crash testing was performed at two facilities: at an independent, third party accredited lab, and also at a National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved crash test facility.”

Pet product safety is an emerging field — let’s hope it moves forward quickly and effectively. Below is the crash safety test video on the first safety-tested seatbelt for dogs from Sleepypod:

Sleepypod explains the action here:

“Unlike traditional one-point dog safety harnesses, Clickit Utility’s unique three-point design reduces damaging forces and keeps the upper and lower torso controlled and restrained.

Upon impact, breakaway slide buckles and shoulder adjustment straps are designed to break or slide to decrease damaging forces by decelerating the force while the dog remains restrained by the primary harness structure.

The harness structure’s primary seat belt webbing and hardware absorb the shifted and decelerated force. In combination, the wide-webbed harness structure and vest promote even distribution of force across the dog’s chest to lessen the chance of injury.

A combination of tethers and shoulder belts create a synergistic effect to hold the dog securely. All critical safety components were static tensile tested and determined Clickit Utility’s strength classification to be superior strength.

To read the full 2-page release from Sleepypod with prices and colors, go here.

8 comments
Geogia Picton
Geogia Picton

Accredited crash test facilities do not test for human safety in the cargo area of a vehicle.

Rileyio
Rileyio

I like the fact that Sleeppod is moving forward, but who drives 30 mph?  

WordsWithWieners
WordsWithWieners

After reading the article a few weeks ago stating that no pet travel harnesses are really safe, it's tough to really want to use them.  But we have to do something to keep our pets safe in the car, so finding out that there's a new harness that's safer than the others is welcome news.  I will definitely be having a look at it.

MelF
MelF

I received an email from them and was interested in checking them out. I have been stuck on what to do since learning none of the seatbelts worked as we all thought they did. It's encouraging to see one that is safe and tested against the 3 point standard.

 

boingydog
boingydog

Wow. Looking forward to hearing more and hope this revolutionizes dog safety in cars. Thank you for the post!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @WordsWithWieners We've all be in a really tough place with this recent reveal -- I too was relieved that at least the dog remained in the seat, and the straps, stitching and clips did not break. That's worth the money to me. However, this model will still need to be run through CPS standards to be certified as tested, as do all seatbelts for dogs. The tests peformed by CPS and Subaru and over and they are now compiling the numbers, so it won't be long before we hear the results and have a set of standards by which the safety of this product for our furry family members can be measured. Thanks for your thoughts!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @MelF Hi Mel - I had email correspondence with the CPS over the weekend, and as I suspected, Sleepypod will also have to pass the standards reached by the testing done in partnership with Subaru. But it is wonderful to have something that is demonstrably better than what we have now, especially in vacation season! Sleepypod did license the crash dog dummies from CPS as have other manufacturers. The standards should be available in the not too distant future =) Thanks for stopping by!

MaryEHaight
MaryEHaight moderator

 @boingydog More news coming soon about standards -- thanks for stopping by =)

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