Making the case for canine restraint

01/10/2009

You know how distracting loose dogs in cars can be. One minute you’re bombing along happily down a curvy A Road at an exhilarating (but obviously safe and legal) speed. The next you’ve got Rover on your lap, saliva all over your face, and you’re headed for the ditch. Happens all the time. Probably.

Well now RAC and the Dogs Trust have come up with a cunning plan to put an end to such canine calamities. The precise nature of said plan, put succinctly, is this: seatbelts for dogs.

Yes indeed, why bother with one of those cagey things behind the back seats when you can give your pooch the ride of his life held firmly in place by chew-resistant canvas strapping?

But, shockingly, a new RAC survey has found that although 88% of Brits agreed that “belting up during a journey is an important safety measure,” an appalling 60% had “never used a dog harness/seat belt to keep their dog secure.”

RAC patrol leader Phil Ryan, a keen dog man himself, says: “At 30mph, for example, an unrestrained 50lb border collie would be thrown forward with a force equivalent to almost nine 12 stone men”, so it’s not just your pet you will be protecting if there is a crash.”

So pretty bad then. But imagine if you had nine unrestrained 12 stone men in the back of your car and they were thrown forward with a force equivalent to almost 31 50lb border collies. Doesn’t really bear thinking about, does it?


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