(ROCKLEIGH, N.J.) A new study from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll revealed that allowing pets to roam unrestrained while driving led to significantly more unsafe driving behaviors, more time distracted and increased stress on both drivers and their four-legged friends.
While pets are now ingrained as essential members of the family, many pet owners aren’t keeping their safety in mind when driving with them. Volvo Reports: Keeping Pets Safe on the Road is highlighted by a unique observational study on how pet restraints affect the driving experience.
Volvo and The Harris Poll followed 15 drivers and their dogs for more than 30 hours on the road, to examine how driving with an unrestrained pet affected driving behavior vs. when an owner used restraints (e.g. pet seat belts, harnesses, crates, carriers). With pets allowed to roam freely, we found:
The study further illustrates the dangers to all passengers, human and canine, when drivers do not restrain their dogs. This is echoed by internationally renowned veterinarian Dr. Elisa Mazzaferro, Staff Criticalist, Cornell University Veterinary Specialists. Dr. Mazzaferro is an expert in emergency and critical care of animals.
“While pets roaming around the car can be cute and convenient, it poses serious risk for both drivers and their pets, both in terms of causing distractions and increasing the chances of serious injury in the event of an accident,” said Dr. Mazzaferro. “Unfortunately, in my field, we see the potential devastating consequences regularly, many of which can avoided by simply ensuring our animals are safely secured.”
Volvo Cars is the leading vehicle manufacturer to develop safety accessories for pets that directly tie into the safety system of the car. This integration is critical to ensuring all safety features work together to protect all occupants. These accessories include a Dog Harness, Load Compartment Divider, Dog Gate and Protective Steel Grille.
The report also built on last year’s inaugural Volvo Report in exploring the unique relationship between Americans, their pets and their cars. Some additional new findings include:
This report, Volvo Reports: Keeping Pets Safe on the Road, is the latest in a series of Volvo Reports from Volvo Car USA and The Harris Poll designed to uncover insights into the American opinion across four core themes: design, safety, technology and environment.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Volvo from March 23-29, 2019, among 2,000 adults ages 18 and older, including 1,433 pet owners. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. A follow-up observational study comprised of a diverse convenience sample was conducted from June 26 – July 22, 2019, among 15 licensed drivers that drive with their dog for a minimum of 25 minutes per day. The drivers were analyzed for a total of approximately 15 hours, an average of 2 hours per driver.
About Volvo Car USA
Volvo Car USA, LLC, (www.volvocars.com/us) is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Group of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCUSA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States. For more information please refer to the VCUSA media website at: http://www.media.volvocars.com/us.