To Keep Pets Safe During Fourth of July Road Trips, Make Sure they are Properly Secured with Crash Tested Safety Devices

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4x4 North America explains the dangers of traveling with unrestrained pets and the important qualities to look for in pet travel products

MIM Safe Variocage - Crash Tested Dog Cage

Fourth of July is said to be one of the deadliest travel days of the year, with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finding driving-related fatalities average 144 each holiday. According to a survey by the American Automobile Association, over 80 percent of dog owners drive with their pets in the car and only 16 percent of pets are properly secured. With so many drivers and unrestrained pets on the road, a Fourth of July road trip could be particularly dangerous if the proper precautions aren't taken. To prevent travel-related injuries, 4x4 North America, an exclusive importer of European engineered and crash tested pet safety products, explains the dangers of driving with unrestrained pets and what attributes to look for in a safety device.

Common situations where pets can be a danger to themselves, the driver, passengers and other vehicles on the road include:

An unrestrained dog can be a distraction while driving, such as getting under the driver’s foot or crawling into a lap.
In the event of an accident, an unrestrained dog will impact whatever it hits with a force equivalent to several thousand pounds of energy.
In a collision, an unrestrained dog may be ejected, especially those riding with their head out the window, or escape from the vehicle, resulting in the dog getting lost, injured or killed.

Once outside, the dog can become a hazard to other drivers and is at risk of being hit by another vehicle.
After an accident, an injured or frightened dog can pose a threat to emergency responders, preventing them from helping human occupants that may be in need of assistance.

A dog crate that is not crash tested can burst apart in a frontal impact, rear end collision or roll over accident, meaning the pet can be ejected, escape or be harmed by protruding shrapnel from a plastic or metal crate that has failed.

While the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe established crash-testing standards for safety nets used for pet many years ago, the United States is still a bit behind on the trend. Thankfully, several states have begun instating laws requiring drivers to use a safety crate or harness when traveling with pets. To help pet parents choose the best product, 4x4 North America has broken down what features to look in a safety device:

Crash Tested – Select a crate or harness that has been crash tested using Government Automotive Safety Standards. It is important to confirm that the cage or harness was tested using established criteria and published safety standards designed for a variety of real world accidents. For example, when choosing a crate, make sure it has been tested for front, rear and roll over impacts.

Safety Escape Hatch – Look for a safety escape hatch located at the rear of the crate. In the event of a rear end collision, the cargo door may not open. If this happens and there isn’t an alternate exit, the crate will need to be cut apart to get the dog out, which can be very dangerous in a critical situation.

Crumple Zone Protection – In the event of a collision, a solid cage without a crumple zone will alter the safety engineering of a vehicle by eliminating the vehicle’s built-in crash protection. This is true even with an empty crate left in the vehicle. In addition, the impact from a rear end collision applies tremendous force to the crate that can break or damage the rear seat causing serious or fatal injury to rear seat occupants. A dog may also be impacted by the sharp edges of a broken crate that has not been engineered to absorb this tremendous force and energy.

Safety Record - Check with the manufacturer of any crash tested product to find out what Government Automotive Safety standards they meet, if they use automotive safety engineers to design their products and if they make other crash tested products for the automotive industry. Look for products with a well-established track record of safety and a long history of proven results in real world accidents.

Certifications - Request a copy of the manufacturer’s certifications, documentation and crash test videos to confirm products meet the same strict guidelines required by the automotive industry for vehicles and child car seats.

Installation – Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding assembly, installation and use of their crash tested products. Check to be sure the manufacturer includes everything required for the proper installation and use.

4x4 North America’s Variocage, engineered and manufactured by MIM in Sweden, has been tested in accordance to the Technical Research Institute of Sweden’s new and more rigorous method for testing crates—the Safe Pet Crate Test (SPCT) developed in conjunction with the regulations and standards for crash safety used by the Automotive industry. MIM has developed a vast number of crash tested safety products for the automotive industry and applied this knowledge and experience to the design of the Variocage.

About 4x4 North America
4x4 North America, Inc. is the exclusive importer of the Crash-Tested AllSafe Pet Safety Harness from Germany and the MIM Safe Variocage from Sweden. Founder, Richard Casey, worried about the safety of his own 50+ pound canine who fidgeted, bounced and sometimes tumbled around in the car, leaving him to search for the best solution. When he discovered the solution wasn’t available in the United States, he immediately formed a partnership to bring these products to pet parents in America. Looking to meet the demand of pet owners, 4x4 North America searches globally for unique, well-engineered, high-quality products. 4x4 North America is committed to educating the public about safe pet travel. Once informed, the choice is clear. Nothing compares to the products offered by 4x4 North America. For more information and to view crash test videos visit

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Richard Casey
4x4 North America, Inc.
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