Your dog can roll over, but what is he going to do when your WRX rolls over? That probably wouldn't end too well for old Fido. Luckily, Subaru is throwing money into improving car safety for our four-legged friends.
Subaru has been using pooches in their advertising for a while to portray themselves as a pet-friendly brand, but this year they have also been funding research at the nonprofit Center for Pet Safety related to the dangers of driving with a dog, according to Automotive News. That research has involved dog-shaped crash dummies of various sizes, which sounds kind of adorable.
After all, as the story notes, there are no crash or safety regulations on cars related to pets like there are for humans. Here's what the research found:
The first round of Subaru-funded tests, released this spring, found that while many popular dog harnesses succeed in keeping dogs from distracting the driver, they will break when stretched with the force of a crash. Videos of earlier tests show that when a harness breaks, a dog can be propelled headfirst like a missile toward the front seat.
Such simulations might even understate the risk to pets, because only 16 percent of dog owners restrain the dog in the car, according to a 2011 survey by AAA.
Emphasis mine, because no one wants to get impaled by their own dog in the event of a crash. The results presented here are certainly interesting.
Before you get on Subaru's case for pushing for more car regulations, they say that's not their goal. Instead, they want safer pet products, not changes to vehicles themselves.
I say good on Subaru for putting their money where their advertisements are, and if they do help find ways to make car rides safer for dogs, it's good news for everyone. Especially Rex, who won't have to fear getting ejected the next time you do your best Colin McRae impression in your own 'Rex.