Santa Monica, California – Some 82 per cent of dogs travel in cars during their lifetime, but 98 per cent travel unrestrained and are vulnerable to injury in crashes, leading pet safety organization Bark Buckle UP to name its top ten pet-friendly and safe vehicles.

The list was named in collaboration with online auto information website Edmunds.com.

“It’s in everyone’s best interest for drivers to ensure that pets and their gear are safe and secure while on the road,” said Kevin Smith, editorial director of Edmunds.com. “The best vehicles for pet owners are the ones with plenty of room and pet-safety features such as tri-climate control, fold-flat rear seats, rear backup cameras, sliding rear doors, and side airbags.”

The top ten, in alphabetical order, are the Ford Flex, GMC Acadia, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Liberty, Kia Borrego, Mazda5, Mitsbusihi Outlander, Subaru Tribeca and Volvo XC70.

“Regardless of which vehicle you own, it is critical to safely restrain your pet when you’re driving,” said Christina Selter, founder of Bark Buckle UP. “Even the calmest unrestrained pets can become frightened in a moving vehicle, distract the driver and cause an accident. In the event of a sudden stop or accident, the animal can injure other passengers or be thrown through the windshield, then hinder the efforts of rescue workers or even cause another accident by escaping into the street. We don’t question the importance of seatbelts for human passengers, and we should always provide the same protection for our pets.”

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