January 21, 2022 2 min read

Do you always buckle up your dog when you drive? 

Our furbabies are part of our family, and we love to take them with us on car rides and adventures so they can be included in the fun. While it may seem like fun for both you and your pooch to be in the car together, the onus of pet safety in a car has always been solely on the owner. 

A recent study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that unrestrained dogs are a major factor in car accidents. In fact, they're involved in one-third of all traffic fatalities involving animals. And it's not just dogs who are at risk; unrestrained cats can also be seriously injured or killed in a crash. 

The RSPCA also found that almost 5000 dogs are severely injured or killed due to inadequate in-car safety every year. 

In response to this, Standards Australia has launched a world first pet safety initiative.The Seat Belts for Use in Motor Vehicles project will create a national standard for vehicle manufacturers to also ensure pet safety whilst riding in a vehicle. This includes creating seatbelt pet safety accessories and modifications mandatory for any model of car available in Australia. 

Standards Australia CEO Adrian O’Connell spoke about the need to create a uniform standard of safety across all states of Australia:

“Road rules about pet safety in vehicles – including how to best secure your pet – varies between states and territories, making it very difficult for pet owners to follow best practice.” 

“A national standard that supports manufacturers in the design and development of pet seatbelt accessories, along with a number of other specific-use seatbelt products, will provide much-needed guidance to support consumer confidence,” Mr O’connell said.

This project will not only help deliver standard protocols for pets, but also seeks to standardise accessories for others such as pregnant women, people with disabilities and those who need their seatbelts modified. 

What does this mean for pet owners?

Currently you can buy generic seat belt modifications, however no guarantee for your pet’s safety is granted unless they are endorsed or created by the original car manufacturer. By putting standards in place, seat belt modifications will become mandatory and uniform across the states. In the near future, pet seat belt modifications created by the car manufacturer will be readily available for any model of car in Australia. 

You can read Standards Australia’s official statement on their website:https://www.standards.org.au/news/campaign-launched-to-deliver-world-first-safety-standard-for-pet-seatbelts-and-other-seatbelt-accessories