Sleepypod, of Los Angeles, Calif., has updated the design of its Sleepypod and Sleepypod Mini pet carriers after testing the safety of the products in simulated automobile crashes. The company’s goal is to meet the same safety standards set for children’s car seats.
“A lot of people think of their pets as children, so we thought that was a good standard to aim for,” said Greg Mote, Sleepypod co-owner and designer.
Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) tested the crashworthiness of the two pet carriers in October 2008. Tests were implemented in crashes at speeds of 20 mph, 25 mph, and 30 mph. The tests revealed both products could withstand crashes of speeds up to 25 mph, according to Sleepypod.
Although the company found the results to be favorable, Sleepypod made design adjustments to improve the products’ crashworthiness, with the aim of meeting safety standards set for child seats. According to Sleepypod, requirements under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard call for all child safety seats manufactured for use in the United States to pass a 30 mph frontal crash test. Currently, there is no legal standard for the crashworthiness of carriers or car restraint systems for pets.
The updated versions of the Sleepypod and Sleepypod Mini are slated to launch in late April or early May. Mote said he is confident the company has reached its goal of meeting the safety standards set for child seats, but he will not know for sure until the products are retested.
Mote expects to retest the carriers within the year. Because of the cost of the testing, he said the company plans to wait until it can test several products at one time.