Sleepypod® introduced MAX the Safety Dog, a crash-test dummy in the shape of a dog that looks like a combination of Bull Terrier and Scottish Terrier breeds. MAX was designed by Sleepypod to simulate a live pet and its force in a car crash. June 2012 crash-test data compiled by Sleepypod using MAX proves the benefits of pet restraint systems.
“More often, we take our four-legged family members with us in the car to run short errands or on extended family trips,” says Michael Leung, one of Sleepypod’s co-owners and product designers. “We designed MAX to help provide safer products for your pet family members.”
MAX is made of an automotive grade vinyl and sewn together with heavy-duty military grade bonded thread. He is filled with medium density foam and centrally weighted with copper for more accurate testing. These textiles were chosen for their durability and to withstand the battering in simulated car crash-testing. Currently, there are two MAX safety dogs. The only differences are weight and scale one weighs 12 pounds and the other at 6 pounds.
In June 2012, Sleepypod hired a U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored crash-test facility to test the crash-worthiness of its entire line of pet carriers to include Sleepypod, Sleepypod Air, Sleepypod Atom, and Sleepypod Mini, as well as a generic plastic pet carrier, and a generic pet safety harness. In addition, to determine the effects of an auto crash on an unrestrained pet, testing of a crash-test dog without a restraint system was performed. MAX was used in each of the crash tests except for the generic pet safety harness test. To obtain the proper harness fit, a facility test dog weighing 15 pounds was enlisted for that particular crash-test.
Crash-tests were performed at the speed of 30 mph, which is the standard for child safety seats in the United States. There is no legal standard for the crash-worthiness of carriers or car restraint systems for pets, so the standard for crash- worthiness of child safety seats is the likely analogy. Each of Sleepypod’s pet carriers, equipped with Sleepypod’s Pet Passenger Restraint System™ (PPRS), passed a 30 mph frontal crash-test. Video footage shows that the PPRS remained intact and without damage.
Video footage also demonstrates the crash-test dog remained inside the pet carrier throughout the duration of each test. The before and after photos of the Sleepypod pet carriers are almost indistinguishable. The unrestrained, generic plastic pet carrier hurled into a barrier before being catapulted upwards and landing on the ground with such tremendous impact that the carrier door broke off and the carrier’s plastic casing significantly cracked.
Crash-testing of the generic pet safety harness yielded a strangled crash-test dog; the crash-test dog was propelled forward with so much force that the stitching on the harness came undone, the harness buckle broke, and the crash-test dog was caught by the neck in the harness which twisted and flung the strangled crash-test dog backward into the seat. Lastly, an unrestrained crash-test dog was thrust into a barrier with such force that its head was crushed on impact.
Sleepypod data demonstrates that an unrestrained pet in a car will propel forward and crash into whatever is in its path. The unrestrained plastic pet carrier carrying a 12 pound crash-test dog hit the barrier with 2000 pounds of force, while the unrestrained, 12 pound crash-test dog hit the barrier at 650 pounds of force. What is important to note is that proper restraints will evenly and safely transmit the forces of a collision to a car seat belt system, which will result in more saved pets that utilize this system.
About Sleepypod’s Pet Passenger Restraint System Technology™ (PPRS)
Sleepypod® pet carriers use Pet Passenger Restraint System technology (PPRS). PPRS was developed by Sleepypod to protect pets during car trips. PPRS is engineered to reduce the possibilities of injuries to pets during accidents. It incorporates car seat belts with our carrier’s seat belt positioning system.
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