Subaru Funds First Center for Pet Safety

   
    Subaru has decided to take their love for pets a step further by funding research for pet-safety. Instead of using the usual driver safety dummies, the Center for Pet Safety has begun using dog-shaped dummies in accident simulations.

    This is the first-of-its-kind pet safety research, borrowing from driver safety practices that have been in use for decades. Up until now, human safety has been the primary concern of auto-makers around the world. But since many of us like to drive around with our favorite companion, also known as "Man's Best Friend," Subaru has stepped up to the plate and is hoping to provide better knowledge and protection for pets in the future.

    There are currently no safety standards in place for pet tethers, nets, harnesses, cages or crates. Most dog owners just allow their smaller dogs to ride in their laps while the larger dogs are left to roam free or are put in a crate.

    Dave Sullivan, marketing, launch, and strategy manager at Subaru of America told Automotive News, "we'd like to see something developed over time, but it's not really our job. We're trying to do our best to raise the issue."

    While it may not be up to Subaru to create awareness for pet safety, they sure are taking matters into their own hands.

    There are some automakers that offer accessories to keep pets "safer" and more comfortable. But Subaru hopes that through their new research, there can soon be new standard features to help keep pets safe in accidents as well.

    Thus far, tests have not produced the most positive information. It turns out that while most popular harnesses do keep the dogs from distracting the driver, they do little to keep the pups safe in an accident. The harnesses break when stretched from the force of a crash, propelling them headfirst toward the front seat or windshield, depending on the dog's location.

    These tests may even underestimate the risk to pets if they were to be involved in an accident, but Subaru believes that the research can at least lead to better awareness and the development of proper safety procedures over time.

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