Consumer Reports: Traveling safely with your pets

Tuesday, August 22, 2017 06:05PM
Consumer Reports: Traveling safely with your pets - Alicia Vitarelli reports during Action News at 4:30 p.m. on August 22, 2017.

PHILADELPHIA - If there's a road trip on your calendar and it involves traveling with the family pet, you'll want to consider a few extra safety measures.

The evidence is clear. Strapping children in cars is a must, but what about pets?

Many people don't realize that unrestrained pets can cause serious injury to passengers and to themselves.

"During a crash or if you slam on the brakes, pets can act as projectiles if they are not secured. And they can also distract drivers from keeping their eyes on the road," said Jen Stockburger, Consumer Reports Auto Expert.

The market is full of pet restraining products, everything from harnesses to carriers. However, many labeled "crash tested" are based only on manufacturers' claims. But the Center for Pet Safety, along with Subaru, conducted tests in 2015.

They tested harnesses, crates for bigger dogs and carriers for small dogs and cats and concluded among the top performing pet restraints are the Sleepypod Air carrier for about $160 dollars, the Gunner Kennels G1 Intermediate crate for $ 500 dollars and the Sleepypod Clickit Sport which will run between $70 and $80 dollars.

"You want peace of mind, because you never know when that crash is going to happen," said Lindsey Wolko, Founder for the Center for Pet Safety.

Another reason to consider keeping your pet restrained? iI something happens to you in an accident, some first responders say pets get protective, and often add another layer to rescue and response efforts.

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