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Construction AB has evaluated the dog crate Variocage in car crashes
from the safety aspect of both the dog and passengers. Out of a variety
of crashes the rear-end collision is probably the biggest threat to
passenger safety. The luggage compartment is a part of the deformation
zone around the passenger compartment that protects passengers from
intrusion in collisions. In a rear-end collision the rear-end is pushed
forward by the intrusion caused by the hitting vehicle. Objects in
the luggage compartment are then pushed forward. The amount of intrusion
is limited by the stiffness of the car and the speed and energy of
the hitting vehicle. A dog crate placed in the luggage compartment
affects the balance of the system. If the crate is too stiff the back
of the rear seats will yield and collapse in a rear-end crash.
occupy the rear seat the change of the deformation zone becomes
dangerous if the back of the rear seat does not stop the dog crate.
This type of collision is common in all countries. It is thus essential
that the crate is constructed in a way that makes it collapse in
a controlled way in severe rear-end crashes.
The speed that
was used in the rear-end crash test was 30 km/h. It is equal to
at a stand still getting hit from behind by a car with the same
weight as the hit car doing 55 km/h. Part of a Volvo V70 body was
placed on a crash test sled. The crate was then placed in the luggage
compartment against the seat back. Two 35-kg dog dummies were placed
inside the crate. The crate was pushed forward during the crash
by a plate big enough to hit the entire rear-end of the crate. The
plate was used to simulate the intrusion of the hitting vehicle.
XL dog crate for two dogs was tested. The loading of the seat back
was moderate and no visible deformation of the seat structure could
be found after the test.
1: The plate enters the luggage compartment just a little bit
above the floor and push the crate forward during the braking of the
crash test sled.
crate was compressed about 150 mm after the test. No sharp edges dangerous
to the dog could be found. Both gates could be opened. The emergency
gate was not jammed and could be opened.
2: The crate was compressed approximately 150mm. No sharp edges
could be found.
frontal collision test was also performed. Two 35-kg dummies were
placed in a Variocage XL for two dogs. The test speed was 50 km/h
and the retardation was approximately 24 g, which corresponds to
2,5 tonnes of loading of the rear seat. The crate was slightly compressed
by its own weight during the collision. No sharp edges were found.
Both gates could be opened. The emergency gate was not jammed and
could be opened. The front wall of the crate was deformed by the
dummies during the crash test. That was positive as it took care
of some of the energy during impact and it would have helped the
dogs in a real crash. No deformation of the seats could be found.
The forces in
a roll over are difficult to create in a controlled way in a crash
lab. They are randomised and can come from any direction. The falling
distance in a roll over is not very high and the crate is close
to the centre of gravity. It is thus the impact from the falling
that is interesting and easy to create. A Variocage XL single crate
was tested in a drop test to see if the crate could handle forces
in the corner of the gate. The crate was dropped from a height of
70 cm, which corresponds, to a speed change of 13,3 km/h when it
hits the concrete floor. With the lower hinge corner of the crate
facing down and a 45-kg dummy inside the impact of the crate is
quite rough. The crate handled the impact well and did not open
or crack in any other way that would be dangerous to the dog.
3: The Variocage crate after the drop test was resting on its
you would like to see the crash test report for the crates in PDF
format then please click here.
For more than twenty
years, Mim Construction AB (the manufacturers of the crate, based
in Sweden) has worked with functional designs of safety details in
the vehicle industry. They have documentation from hundreds of crash-tests,
where their protection details are used. Mim has followed the major
car-manufacturers´ use of crumple-zones.
The Variocage (Safedog crate) was developed based on their long experience
in the production of safety accessories. The initial models were sold
by the thousands and the recent models are today exported to many
we started promoting the crates at shows one of the most common
expressions we hear from people is 'my dog is fine on the back seat'.
But the crates give unique protection to both humans and animals
during an unexpected accident. The cages are constructed to reach
the highest level of safety and are the only ones on the market
that fulfil the demands at rear-end collisions. The
safety cages are made of steel and are sprayed in grey and black
shades. The locking mechanism has a sturdy hasp and keys. No features
can hurt the dog. During an unexpected accident the escape door
in the rear of the cage can be used. The cages are absolutely silent
no noise. All models are equipped with a rubber mat.
If the front gates are blocked the escape door can be used. In a few
simple operations the rear section can be removed (undoing two bolts
on the single crates; three bolts on the doubles).
In a rear-end collision the cage will be compressed in a controlled
manner to the same extent as the crumple zones of the car. This means
that the rear seat back will not be pushed forward by the cage, minimizing
the risk of damage to both passengers and dog.
crate with detachable divider
The mid-section easily adjusts sideways if one of the dogs needs more
space. If you have a large dog or if you want to give a single dog
more space, the mid-section is easily detached. The cage can easily
be tailor-made for the car by adjusting the length to
suit the size of your boot space.