Safest, most dangerous spots for pets in an SUV

As the three-row SUV segment becomes increasingly popular for growing families, which in many cases include four-legged friends, Subaru of America Inc., and the Center for Pet Safety have unveiled their recommendations for safe pet travel in SUVs and the dangers of improperly securing one’s furry family.

In a crash, a pet who is not properly secured can become a projectile, resulting in serious injury or worse for both them and the human passengers. That is why Subaru and CPS are working together again to raise awareness around vital safety measures for man’s best friend, so entire families can adventure together safely.

As larger, three-row SUVs have become more prominent in the market, Subaru and CPS analyzed the design and spacing in these larger vehicles and have identified the safest, and most dangerous, places for pets to travel based on the unique design of three-row SUVs. To ensure safety for all travelers in a three-row SUV with captain’s chairs, pets should ideally be secured in the second or third row, and follow this simple guide:

Pets weighing 20 lbs. or less can be harnessed or secured in carriers in the second-row captain’s chair

Larger pets, more than 20 lb., should be properly secured and travel in the third-row bench directly behind one of the captain’s chairs

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Never place your pet on the floor between the captain’s chairs in three-row SUV models, as this could result in the pet becoming a projectile and cause serious injury to both the pet and vehicle passengers

When traveling with both children and pets in a three-row vehicle with captain’s chairs, secure the child in the second row and secure the pet in the third row, on the opposite side of the vehicle as the child

“Following these simple tips will help to minimize the risk of injury in the event of a crash and in all cases, pets should be properly secured to prevent distractions for the driver and prevent serious injury to both the pet and vehicle passengers,” said Lindsey Wolko, CPS founder and CEO. “Thanks to partners like Subaru, we can bring awareness to the safest ways for pets to come along on family adventures, while preventing potentially devastating accidents.”

“Given that a majority of Subaru drivers are also pet parents, education around pet travel safety is crucial,” said Thomas J. Doll, president and CEO of Subaru of America Inc. “As part of our continued support for pet safety, we are proud to once again team up with longstanding partner, Center for Pet Safety, and shine a light on proper practices for traveling with pets in three-row SUVs like the all-new Ascent.”

The partnership continues the work that began in 2013 with the testing of pet harnesses by CPS. The resulting Harness Crashworthiness Study uncovered major differences in performance of popular pet restraints, with many resulting in catastrophic failure that could cause serious injury to both the pet and vehicle passengers. The goal of the study was to highlight the importance of driving safely with pets and to complete the first formal test protocol and independent ratings guidelines for pet travel harnesses, published by CPS in 2014. In 2015, Subaru and CPS highlighted the top pet safety products in the 2015 Crate and Carrier Crashworthiness Studies, a collaborative initiative to examine the effectiveness and safety of pet crates and carriers in the event of a crash. Formal test protocols and independent ratings guidelines for pet travel carriers and crates were published by CPS in 2016.

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