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Find out the top 10 pet safe vehicles

August 18, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Only a very small percentage of drivers secure their pets when they hit the road, putting their dogs or cats at risk in the event of an accident. Dog breeder Kristina Estlund always buckles up her pets. She really loves her animals and only wants the best for them. That's why she drives a vehicle named one of the top 10 safest for hauling around your pets.

According to Edmunds.com, an online resource for automotive research, cars today are safer for both people and pets.

"One of the great things we found fairly early on though was that a lot of the same features that keep a pet comfortable and secure also keep a child comfortable and secure," said Kevin Smith, Edmunds.com Editorial Director. "So if you're looking at a, especially a sports utility vehicle or a minivan, you're probably looking at a lot of the same sorts of features."

Edmunds, along with barkbuckleup.com, looked over 31 different vehicles and came up with a list of 10 that make driving with pets safer and more convenient.

"The side impact curtains that go all the way back to the third row are very important. With side impacts you want to make sure if they have a side impact they are protected," said Christina Selter, a pet safety expert.

Here's the list of pet safe vehicles in alphabetical order:

  • Dodge Journey
  • Ford Flex
  • GMC Acadia
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Jeep Liberty
  • Kia Borrego
  • Mazda 5
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
  • Subaru Tribeca
  • Volvo XC70

Unfortunately, 98 percent of dogs travel unrestricted in moving vehicles and that's an accident waiting to happen no matter what you're driving.

"You don't want a pet flying around in an accident. I mean a lot of people misjudge the sort of impacts that can be generated, the forces that can be generated in an impact," said Smith. "Just as you can't hold a child on your lap safely, you can't really hold a dog in your lap safely."

Another thing to think about is what happens to your pet if you are in an accident and incapacitated. So Bark Buckle Up offers a free pet safety kit.

"Basically they put all of their information in... emergency information, their pet information, a photo of their pet. We custom print that and mail it to them with a first responder decal," said Selter.

The decal tells emergency responders the pet information is in your glove box.


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