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MIMSafe Blog

Why can the wrong dog crates make accidents more dangerous?

By | MIMSafe Blog

Fortunately road traffic accidents are not common, but when they do occur, they can be horrific for everyone involved. The team of experts at MIM understand this, after working with some of the major car manufacturers on all aspects of safety in their earlier careers before setting up MIM. They saw over and over again how customers compromised their safety by transporting large, unsuitable items in vehicles, which could break up, becoming lethal missiles or remain a solid, in-car mass, causing dreadful, life-threatening injuries, in the event of an accident.

Dog crates were one such problem, and one which the founders of MIMsafe set out to rectify. Dog crates built by other brands are either:

  • Flimsy, easily smashed structures that merely held the dog in one place while travelling but provided no protection whatsoever in the event of an accident. They would fall apart, often leaving exposed bits of metal or other material that would cause injuries and leaving dogs free to escape during an accident, often to run into oncoming traffic.
  • Solid, strong boxes that can withstand an impact, but have no flexibility. This means that they do not absorb any of the energy of an impact and work against, rather than with, the vehicle’s crumple zone, often causing serious or life-threatening injuries to back seat passengers.

They therefore set out to make something safe not only for dogs, but also for passengers. The Variocage will compress in a controlled manner in the event of an accident, absorbing some of the impact of the collision and working with, rather than against, the vehicle’s crumple zone. The back of the crate that is secured against the back seat of the car, is angled away from back seat passengers, protecting heads and necks from hitting the crate during an impact, and the crate will not fracture or fall apart.

They also observed that other dog crate manufacturers do not invest the considerable expense required in performing actual, real-life crash testing. All other dog crate manufacturers of whom we are aware, only “crash test” using computer simulation and mathematical models.

At MIMsafe, our scientists understand that computer simulated models are not always reliable or valid and utilise their experience of working alongside car brands. We therefore invest in an additional, much more reliable and valid crash testing strategy of positioning the crates in situ in the vehicle. This enables us to see not only how the crate will actually perform during an impact, but also how it performs in conjunction with the existing safety features of the vehicle, ensuring that the crates complement, but never impede, the inbuilt safety mechanisms.

We really are the experts in animal and human transport safety. …Read more about our crash testing.

Winter driving

The dangers of Winter driving

By | MIMSafe Blog

Winter drivingWith Winter just around the corner, road hazards increase, and we are statistically more likely to be involved in a road traffic accident. Data from insurance company Admiral reveal that we are 25% more likely to claim on their motor insurance in November compared to April, and their surveys show that 23% of UK motorists have been involved in an accident when driving in severe winter weather conditions.

So why is winter driving more dangerous?

Days are shorter and driving in the dark poses more challenges than daylight driving:

  1. Decreased visibility: our ability to judge distance decreases, and our eyes take time to adjust from bright lights to darker roads. This is particularly an issue for older drivers, whose eyes take longer to adjust. Between the ages of 15 and 65, the speed at which our eyes are able to adjust from light to dark conditions increases from 1 second to 9 seconds.
  2. It’s more difficult to see other road users in the dark and pedestrians are often not aware of this, meaning that they behave in a manner that puts them more at risk.
  3. It is more difficult to judge the speeds of other road users.
  4. Young drivers can be particularly vulnerable due to a lack of experience of driving in the dark.

The weather also has a strong influence on road safety during the winter months and it’s not just ice and snow that create hazards:

  1. On clear sunny days, the low angle of the sun can affect visibility. It’s imperative to ensure that windscreens are kept clean in winter, especially during wet weather conditions leading to mud and water on the roads.
  2. Ice and snow can cause obvious problems, affecting our ability to steer and brake as needed. It can take 10 times longer to stop when braking in ice and snow.
  3. Condensation on the windows due to the colder temperatures, and ice on the windscreen both affect visibility. The highway code stipulates that, when driving in icy conditions, we must be able to see out of every glass panel in our vehicle.
  4. While flooding isn’t limited to winter months, it can still cause problems with dangers such as aquaplaning.

The RAC and AA both provide great advice for safe driving during the Winter, and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue include a great video for how to safely drive on the ice. But, regardless of how safely we drive ourselves, we can’t assume other road users will do the same. It’s important, therefore, to control the things that we can control.

MIMsafe Variocages protect dogs and passengers. We know from our extensive crash testing that in the event of an accident, they compress in a controlled manner, absorbing some of the impact, and decreasing the amount of space in the crate, decreasing injuries to dogs by stopping them from being thrown about.
The crates are strong and will not crumple or fall apart during an impact, meaning that dogs remain safe and protected, not crushed or thrown out of the vehicle. Crates all feature an emergency exit door in case the main crate exit is compromised, ensuring that dogs can be easily released.

Our crates work in conjunction with the crumple zone of vehicles, keeping rear seat passengers safe. This video demonstrates how:

Our crates provide optimal safety for passengers and optimal security for your dogs whatever the season.

Variocage Protects Dog & Owner

By | MIMSafe Blog
MIMsafe Variocage protect owner & dog in road traffic accident

On 20th September, a dog owner from the US who had bought a VarioCage for her dog had a lucky escape. She fell asleep at the wheel doing over 70 mph and rolled her car 4 times.

Although the owner had severe injuries including a bruised lung, lacerations to her head & hand and limited ability to move her neck/head, Avila, her dog, did not have a single scratch on her.
Karis Lyn Rosenow, the owner’s friend, reporting the accident said:

"I fully believe that the vario cage not only saved our dogs life but I truly believe it helped keep the back end of the car intact enough so that the entire car wasn’t flattened during the rolls thus saving Lauren’s life as well".

Karis Lyn Roseknow

Thank you Karis Lyn Rosenow for letting us share this terrifying story – we’re sending all our love to Lauren and Avila, and hoping for a speedy recovery.

Testimonials From Grateful Customers – Road Traffic Accident Survivors

By | MIMSafe Blog

Thankfully, serious road accidents are relatively rare, but we are sometimes contacted by grateful customers who have lived through the horror of a car accident and want to thank us for saving the lives of their beloved pets.

Here are just a few – click on the links to read their full story.

Nadja Andersson & GSDs Troja & Tara

“I can only say that my decision to purchase a dog cage from MIMSafe saved my dogs’ lives”.
“I think it’s terrifying that so many dog owners do not understand the importance of using a crash tested, safe dog crate. MIMSafe’s crash tests are based on how a crash happens in real life and they are the only ones I trust.”

Nadja Andersson
Read Nadja's story

Tomas, his son Jonathan, and dog Assi

“Some people complain about the cost of a properly crash tested, crush proof car crate from MIMSafe but if you have been involved in something that I have experienced , you understand that the value of a MIMSafe crate is totally worth the spend. I mean , quality costs. All the research and development that MIMSafe have put in over the years is worth investing in.”

Tomas
Read Tomas' story

Hanna & German Shorthaired Pointer, Hera

"I am so grateful we chose MIMsafe's VarioCage model. We made the choice because of its ability to withstand impact from all directions and this is exactly what happened when the car flipped. Once again, we are extremely grateful.”

Hanna
Read Hanna's story

Laura & dachshunds, Murph & Morticia

“Without doubt the MIMsafe crate saved my dogs’ lives. They would not be here today if it wasn’t for the crate! I try not to think about what could have happened if they were not in the crate. Everyone at the scene commented that we were all incredibly lucky to walk away from the crash without injury.”

Laura Oldbury-Churchwood
Read Laura's story

Lauren & Avila

"Lauren fell asleep at the wheel doing over 70 mph and rolled her car 4 times. Although she had severe injuries including a bruised lung, lacerations to her head & hand and limited ability to move her neck/head, Avila, her dog, did not have a single scratch on her.
"I fully believe that the vario cage not only saved our dogs life but I truly believe it helped keep the back end of the car intact enough so that the entire car wasn’t flattened during the rolls thus saving Lauren’s life as well".

Karis Lyn Roseknow
Read Laruen's story

Angyl & Rufus

“My Variocage Is always tethered in my cargo area. Luckily my American Bulldog was not with me but if he had been he would’ve been COMPLETELY protected and contained. I bought this crate for this very reason. Peace of mind that my boy is always safe when traveling with me.
The Variocage is a well crafted, solid, safe travel crate. Rufus’ variocage took the impact (guardrail head-on at 60mph then a concrete divider) in my accident like it was built to do.

Angyl Viton
Read Angyl's story
dog's life saved by MIMsafe crate

MIMsafe’s VarioCage Saves Life of German Shorthaired Pointer In A Serious Car Accident

By | MIMSafe Blog

dog saved by MIMsafe crateThankfully, serious road traffic accidents are not a common occurrence, so it’s not often that we’re able to report on the strength and performance of our dog crates in a real-life accident with real dogs and their owners.  However, we recently received grateful thanks from a dog owner following a distressing incident in which a dog, Hera, a German Shorthaired Pointer, was able to walk away unscathed.

Hanna, the owner, and Hera, were travelling very early in the morning at dawn in June this year when the accident occurred. The car flipped, landing on its side with the driver’s door facing down towards the ground. Hanna had to crawl out through the passenger door of her VW Passat Alltrack.

“Once I got out of the car, my nerves were really on edge in those few seconds until I made my way to Hera’s cage. It was completely quiet back there and I was expecting the worst.”

But once she caught sight of her beloved Hera, she was filled with relief.

“There were so many thoughts going through my head, and then I saw her eyes. She was alive! I am so grateful we chose MIMsafe’s VarioCage model. We made the choice because of its ability to withstand impact from all directions and this is exactly what happened when the car flipped. Once again, we are extremely grateful.”

 

dog's life saved by MIMsafe crate

The VarioCage worked exactly as it should. The inbuilt deformation zone compressed inwards to absorb the impact and protect the dog. We know from our crash testing that the less space the dog has in the cage in a collision, the safer the dog. The deformation zone of the crate also works in tandem with the deformation zone of the vehicle, unlike most other brands of crate currently available.

dog's life saved by MIMsafe crate

“All our crash tests are conducted with the Safe Pet Crate Test method, making us unique among cage makers,” says MIM Construction’s CEO Gert Olofsson “These tests are carried out in actual car bodies so we can really see how our cages will perform in a crash. We also conduct further extensive testing to ensure that the cage is as safe as possible, so we feel intense relief that owner and dog are safe, but also a sense of pride when we can see that the cage has done its job in protecting Hera and the rest of the family.”

The cage’s other safety systems also worked properly and once the rescue team arrived, they had to remove the crumpled rear hatch to get Hera out.

“Making sure that cage parts don’t come loose in a collision and that rear-seat passengers are safe has been a primary focus in our development work,” Gert Olofsson adds. “The built-in deformation zone in our VarioCage prevents serious injuries to those travelling in the rear of the car, both from cage parts penetrating through the back seats, as well as parts above the rear seat causing injury to the neck, all for the safety of both people and their dogs.”

“Hanna’s neck pain after the accident was gone after a week or so, and Hera was examined by a vet who determined that she had no injuries at all.

Both Hanna and her partner are now looking forward to long Autumn walks with Hera.

“What a wonderful feeling it will be to walk with Hera after what happened,” says Hanna. “We’ve come closer to her after the accident and want to get out as much as we can with her now.”

For more information about our range of fully crash tested dog crates, guards and tailgate guards, please visit our shop.

 

dog travel and the law

Travelling With Dogs – Stay Safe & Within The Law

By | MIMSafe Blog

dogs, travelling and the law

We’re a nation of animal lovers and for many, our dogs are members of the family, so they often accompany us when traveling in the car.  However, did you know that not restraining your dog when traveling could:

  • Lead to a conviction of dangerous driving if involved in an accident
  • Invalidate your car and pet insurance
  • Land you with a fine of up to £5000
  • Result in a requirement to retake your test
  • Add up to 9 penalty points on your driving license

And even worse, distract the driver and cause an accident, risking the lives of you, your passengers, your dogs, and other road users.

Just recently, in June 2022, a man was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving after he took his eyes off the road briefly when his unrestrained Weimaraner started to move around the vehicle.  His vehicle hit a taxi that was parked on the side of the road, collecting a 77-year-old woman and her husband.  Very sadly, the lady lost her life, and her husband was severely injured. He was jailed on June 23rd for 24 weeks, with a 64-week driving ban.  We can only imagine the horror and heartbreak of this accident for everyone involved.

Although driving with dogs that are not restrained is not against the law, it is included in Rule 57 of the Highway Code: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”  This means that police have the power to pull you over and charge you with driving with undue care and attention.  This can lead to a very hefty fine and 9 penalty points on your license.

DON’T RISK IT!

We want everyone to transport their dogs safely and with minimum risk to themselves, their passengers, their dogs and other road users, and we’ve campaigned to alert people of the dangers of traveling with loose dogs since the company was founded in 1986.

Our VarioCages are all crash tested from all angles: we ensure that they withstand impact from the front, the rear, the sides and during a rollover.  We’re the ONLY dog crate manufacturer that crash test in this way and with the crates in situ in the vehicle during the testing process.  Most other companies that claim to crash test use computer-generated crash testing.  This measures how the crates will withstand an impact in theory but does not physically test the crates to make sure.  Even worse, other companies claim to have crash tested when their tests are woefully inadequate and, in some cases, may have not even passed the crash test!

We also offer crash tested harnesses, tailgate guards and dog guards.  Please see our shop for our full range of dog transport safety products.

Unrestrained dog

Unrestrained dog causes a fatal accident – don’t let this be you.

By | MIMSafe Blog

Unrestrained dog

A recent heart-breaking case of a driver who was distracted by his dog while driving and fatally injured a 77-year-old woman has been reported in many news outlets over the weekend.

Whilst we don’t know the facts or details of the case, it has been reported that the 37-year-old driver took his eyes off the road when his unrestrained Weimaraner started to move around in the back of the vehicle. Seconds later, he hit a taxi that was parked at the side of the road, that was collecting a 77-year-old woman and her 80-year-old husband. The lady died later in hospital and her husband suffered fractures to his pelvis and leg and a deep cut to his forehead.

The heartbreak of such a horrific accident can only be imagined, for everyone concerned.

The driver pleaded guilty to a charge of causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed on June 23rd for 24 weeks, with a 64-week driving ban.
Detective Constable Chris Taylor, who led the investigation, said:

“[the owner} was fatally distracted because he hadn’t appropriately restrained his dog when he set off on his journey.
“I only hope that what happens serves as a warning to other pet owners about the potential consequences of failing to secure their animals when they are using the road.”

As dog owners, I’m sure we can understand how easily this could happen and can only imagine the heartbreak that the driver, victims and anyone else involved must have felt.

Our focus since the company was founded over 30 years has been to keep pets, drivers, passengers and the public safe, by raising public awareness of the dangers of driving with unrestrained pets. MIMsafe continues to invest in innovative and safe pet transportation options.

In order to maximise the safety of your dog, your passengers and yourself in the event of an accident, we recommend only using a fully crash tested form of restraint, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to safely restrain your pet using a crash-tested crate or dog guard. Our VarioBarrier dog guards (https://mimsafeuk.com/variobarrier/), that are fully crash tested to protect all passengers and prevent distraction of the driver, start at only £123. Alternatively, if you would prefer a harness, our crash tested All-Safe Harness is available from £59.99 onwards (https://mimsafeuk.com/product/allsafe-harness/)

Please everyone, stay safe. Restrain your dogs and don’t let this happen to you.

We’re at Dogfest this weekend at Belvoir Castle, Leicestershire

By | MIMSafe Blog

This coming weekend (25th and 26th June), we have a stand at Dogfest in Leicestershire at the beautiful Belvoir Castle!  It’s a fantastic location and will be a brilliant day out – we’re really looking forward to meeting everyone!  To anyone thinking of attending, we have a 20% discount code especially for MIMsafe customers and those interested in seeing our products!  You can use this code on the Dogfest website:

Use code DFSHOPPING20 to get 20% off your tickets!

If you live in Leicestershire or the surrounding area, this is your chance to come and see our products in person and ask any questions that you may have, as well as to have a great day out in a fantastic location with your dog(s)!

Two important reasons why you should use MIMsafe crash tested dog crates

Our crates are the ONLY dog crates available worldwide that are equipped with a telescopic flexibility that absorbs the forces caused by an impact, protecting dogs and passengers in the event of an accident. Other crate brands don’t have this flexibility and may shatter or fall apart in an RTA. This is why our crates are the safest available and are so popular across the globe.

In addition to this, we’re the ONLY company worldwide that crash tests our crates in situ in the vehicle. This is important because anything in your vehicle needs to work in conjunction with the safety mechanisms within the vehicle itself. There is no point in having a crate that protects the dog in crash tests on its own but doesn’t take into account any of the forces or physical apparatus that are present during an impact. Dog travel crates need to work in tandem with your vehicle’s crumple zone to ensure that every member of your family, canine and human, are kept safe.

Our only focus is to produce products that protect you and we continually test, innovate and improve to ensure that this is what we do.
Our dog travel cages undergo rigorous crash tests at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden. The tests are adapted to the cage size and load without sacrificing its energy-absorbing characteristics if a collision were to occur. The robust, innovative construction ensures that our crates can withstand massive impact from all directions – we call it Safety 360°.

Read more about our safety design and crash testing on our Safety Design page

We’re looking forward to seeing you this weekend!

 

 

World's smallest medical detection dog

Meet Vimpan, the World’s smallest diabetes detection dog!

By | MIMSafe Blog

World's smallest medical detection dogMeet Vimpan, the world’s first diabetes alert dog!

Vimpan and his owner Sofia Karlsson, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was four years old, contacted our Swedish colleagues about a Care2 crate and they were very happy to let little Vimpan try out one of our Care2 crates and hear his story!

medical detection dogVimpan came to live with Sofia when he was a tiny puppy. He enjoyed a very successful show career, winning awards in ten different countries. But Sofia wanted to keep on learning with Vimpan, and it was while completing a course in nosework that she had the idea to train him as a diabetic alarm dog.

“I called SBK and said that I wanted to train Vimpan as a diabetic dog. That surprised them a bit… training a chihuahua to be a diabetic alarm dog? It had never been tried before. Usually Labradors are trained for this task.”

However, she persuaded them to give him a try and they agreed to him taking an initial suitability test, which he passed with flying colours. He then went on to complete a further test, that measured his ability to learn and his social skills. To their surprise, it turned out that Vimpan was the perfect candidate to learn to be a diabetic dog!

Shortly afterwards, Sofia and Vimpan started the intensive training course under the guidance of a private instructor. It took them a year to become certified as a diabetes alert team, and they became local celebrities, opening the door for other more unusual dog breeds to start similar training. Sofia is rightly very proud of what she and Vimpan have achieved.

So, how is Vimpan able to identify when Sofia’s blood sugar levels are too high or too low?

Sofia explained: “I collected my own scents in sterilized jars. I used cotton pads with sweat and saliva when I had both high and low blood sugar. In this way, Vimpan learned to sniff out the odours that indicated my blood sugar is not okay. But what´s more, his nose is so sensitive that he can detect critical levels long before they actually become a problem.
“I´d say he can pick them up some twenty minutes before the measuring instrument on my arm.”

So how does Vimpan alert Sofia when her blood sugar levels are too high?

World's smallest medical detection dogHe carries a small tag on his collar at all times that he grabs and holds when he detects changes in her levels. Sofia added “If he does not have his collar on, he resourcefully picks something else that’s close by up, for example a shoelace or something else on the ground. It can be pretty much anything. But he never fails to alert me”.
And if it happens during the night when Sofia is asleep, Vimpan will jump onto Sofia’s bed
and wake her up by scratching her with his front paws.

While the Swedish MIMsafe team were hearing about Sofia and little Vimpan’s story, he voluntarily went into his new Care2 crate, curled himself up and went to sleep!!

Well done Sofia and Vimpan – it’s great to hear that such a small dog can achieve so much!!

crash tested dog guard

Looking for a crash tested dog guard?

By | MIMSafe Blog

If you’re looking for a dog guard to keep your dogs safely in the boot and protect your passengers and yourself in the event of an accident, you can’t get safer or better value than a VarioBarrier crash tested dog guard. Unlike most other dog guards on the market, our guards are crash tested according to crash standard ECE-R17 / ISO 27955, and once fitted, the legal requirement for load securing is met and you, your family and your pets will be much safer.  They’re also a very reasonable price, starting at only £123.

Our crash tested dog guard is flexible enough to accompany you from car to car, and is fully adjustable in width and height to ensure that it will fit the shape of each vehicle. The dog guard can also be safely fitted without any alterations or damage to the inside of the car.

The dog guard prevents dogs being flung forward and injuring themselves on the car contents or windscreen: dogs are often thrown through the windscreen on impact if they are not appropriately restrained. The guard simultaneously protects passengers from the full force of animals, luggage or other items being propelled from the boot space into the vehicle if the event of an accident.

Our uncompromising focus on safety by crash testing from different angles with the safety products in situ in the vehicle means that we know that the guard will work in tandem with your vehicle’s crumple zone, further protecting anyone, dogs or people, from risk of injury.

As well as our own branded dog guards, we are a trusted supplier of dog guards for a wide range of vehicle brands and models, and we work closely alongside vehicle manufacturers to design and manufacture safe, crash tested guards that large organisations trust and depend upon.

We have two different models of VarioBarrier dog guard available. The VarioBarrier Original small, medium or large is suitable for vehicles that contain load anchors and a flat boot floor. The VarioBarrier Headrest (HR) is the best option for smaller vehicles with no load anchors.

If you would like to turn your entire boot space into a protected, secure area for your dog to travel, then our VarioGate tailgate guard works extremely well alongside the VarioBarrier. The VarioGate is the ONLY crash tested tailgate guard currently available and gives you the entire boot space to use for dogs, large items or luggage. If you need to segregate the boot space into two separate compartments, for different dogs or for dogs and luggage, then the VarioDivider fits the bill nicely. This system is extremely popular with our dog sports customers, who compete in dog sports such as agility, obedience, hoopers, heelwork to music and flyball.

For further information or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us!