Is Dog your co-pilot? Then listen up. The Ford Edge is the safest car for pets.
So says the pet safety group, Bark Buckle UP ( www.barkbuckleup.com).
In fact, Ford has three of the top 10 pet-safe vehicles for 2010.
Also on the list: Chrysler Town and Country; Dodge Journey; Ford Flex; Ford Transit Connect; Kia Soul; Honda Element (which last year introduced its first "dog friendly model" complete with ramp, rear car kennel, pet bed and fan); Smart Car; Subaru Outback; and Volvo XC60.
"Most people don't think about it, but in only a 35 mph accident with a 60-pound pet it becomes a 2,700-pound projectile," says Christina Selter, founder of Bark Buckle UP, which also markets in-vehicle safety products for pets. "This will injure the pet, passengers, driver; or the pet may escape the vehicle and cause a second accident or become agitated and bite the first responder that is on scene."
The group evaluated vehicles on a variety of pet-friendly points, including how easily the vehicle accommodates animals and kennels of various sizes, ease of access to pet from within the vehicle, ease of pet entry and exit, ventilation for animals in the rear and whether the vehicle has pet-friendly surfaces or safety gear.