In the Driver’s Seat: Your Pet’s Safety Starts with You

It wasn't long ago that people were riding on their station wagon’s ledge, above the trunk, soaking in the rays without a care in the world. At least that is ahh… not what my mom and aunt were doing in their childhood.

The thought of this now is not only terrifying, it's laughable. The sight of this alone would have the police on you immediately. As a society, we have quickly come to the point where the majority of us get in our vehicles and without thinking are buckled up and ready to go. Our children get put into large car seats that take three people and a 4-page manual to install… and you can’t leave the hospital until you do so.

We all take vehicle safety precautions for ourselves, our families, our kids; heck, even my crockpot filled with chili gets buckled in on my way to my mother-in-law’s house. Yet we see it everywhere, our animals remain left behind in the stone age when it comes to vehicle safety. With our animals loose and running around, I think it's about time that we catch up.

Pet's safety during travel is all about the preventative measures taken to protect our beloved animals while they accompany us on our journeys. As a reactive society, many people spend unlimited amounts of money at the vet after an accident has occurred as opposed to proactively preventing injury

The key benefits of using a crash rated restraint system in the vehicle are:

  • Crash Protection: Just as we use seatbelts to safeguard ourselves in the event of a collision, our pets need the same level of protection. Unrestrained pets can become projectiles during a crash, posing a severe threat to themselves and others in the vehicle.
  • Preventing movement: Pets wandering freely within the car can be hazardous. Sudden movements can startle the driver, potentially leading to accidents. Moreover, an unrestrained pet might jump into the drivers lap or interfere with vehicle controls, causing chaos on the road.
  • Driver Distraction: A pet in distress, or on that simply wants attention, can be a significant distraction for the driver. This distraction can lead to accidents, putting everyone in the car at risk.

Now that we understand why pets' safety in the car is crucial, let's explore how pet owners can ensure that their pet(s) travel securely: 

  • Do your research: You should know what you are buying. Many people purchase restraint systems that will not withstand a car crash and/or are difficult to use for other daily activities .
  • Find a warranty program: If you are in a car accident with your pup, whatever you were using hopefully did the job, but you need to know that it is now compromised and needs to be replaced. Companies that stand behind their product and offer a full or partial replacement are good to find.
  • Versatility: Ensure that it can be used in and out of the car. It is hard to use one off products of any type. Keeping the same harness on for walks, hikes, swims, and wherever else life may take you in and out of the car is key for daily usage. A seatbelt system sitting in your closet isn't helping you in the event of a car crash.
  • Comfort: You want to ensure that your dog is comfortable in their system. All systems take training, but having a system that provides comfort and security is essential for success.
  • Crash-rated Products: When it comes to selecting safety gear for your pet, look for crash-rated products like the Optimus Gear Defender Harness. This harness is designed to keep your dog safe in multiple ways:
    1. Crash Protection: The Defender Harness is built to withstand the forces of a collision and has been successfully crash tested to the same standard as a child seat.
    2. Preventing Movement: It keeps your dog securely in place, preventing them from moving around the car during travel, reducing the risk of accidents.
    3. Driver Distraction: By keeping your dog in one place, the Optimus Gear Defender Harness minimizes distractions for the driver, ensuring a safer journey.
    4. Comfort and Versatility: The Defender Harness is designed with your pet’s comfort in mind. Both inside and outside of the car,your pup will be always ready for your next adventure. Wherever life may take you.


Incorporating a product like the Defender Harness into your pet's travel routine can make a significant difference in their safety and comfort during car rides. It's time to bring our animal travel out of the ways of old and treat them like the family members that they are. So, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.



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