Our lap dog loves to go for car rides! She’s generous too because you are more than welcome to sit underneath her in the right front seat. The trouble is, this is definitely not a good place for her to ride in the car.
Hopefully we’ve learned that airbags and children don’t go together, but have we stopped to consider our pets? Air bags are designed to restrain large people and will do significant damage to a pet, perhaps to the point of killing them outright. They will also be thrown around the interior of the vehicle like a projectile, unless something stops them.
That something stopping your pet might be you or a member of your family. Remember that airbags deploy at speeds reaching 200 MPH. Now imagine how much it will hurt when that pet smashes into you. That’s not a pretty picture, is it?
The best place for your pet is the same as for your child, the center of the rear seat away from front and side airbags. You can even choose to restrain your pet with the equivalent of seat belts. As a responsible pet owner, you have to make the choice.
Cst. Tim Schewe (Ret.) runs DriveSmartBC, a community web site about traffic safety in British Columbia. For 25 years he was an officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, including five years on general duty, 20 in traffic and 10 as a collision analyst responsible of conducting technical investigations of collisions. He retired from policing in 2006 but continues to be active in traffic safety through the DriveSmartBC web site, teaching seminars and contributing content to newspapers and web sites.