Keep Fido out of the front seat!

April 16, 2018

Volvo, which manufactures some of the safest cars in the world, is taking a look at how securely its non-human passengers are accommodated in its vehicles. The news is alarming—not because of the cars, themselves, but because of the people (and pet owners) who are at the wheel.

In a nationwide survey of 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted on behalf of the Swedish automaker by The Harris Poll, found that, of the 97% of pet owners who drive with their dogs, many do not follow safety practices, including the following:

  • 48% do not own any safety driving gear for their dog(s);
  • 41% allow their dog(s) to ride in the front seat;
  • 23% buckle their dog(s) into to standard seat belts; and
  • Only 5% have a built-in pet safety system in their vehicle(s).

Why such casual disregard for safety when a majority of Americans (69%) see their pets as “family members”?

Many claim they don’t know any better—and of those who do, 24% say they leave their pets at home because they think having them in their cars equates to an accident waiting to happen.

What’s more, of those who drive without Fido, 46% put the blame for lack of harnesses and restraints on the automaker—saying that vehicle manufacturers do not have built-in dog safety features and do not care enough about pet safety.

Fully 71% of pet owners agree that vehicle manufacturers should proactively build more dog safety features into their vehicles

“Our survey showed that pet parents want to travel with their furry friends, but worry about safety,” said Product and Technology Communications Manager for Volvo Car USA Jim Nichols. “Volvo is the only manufacturer that has been developing protective steel grills and dog gates for over 20 years to keep pets in place in the event of an accident.”

The complete results of the survey are published in the report, Dogs, Cars and the People Who Love Them.

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