The following post was on the CKCS-L mail list today--permission to cross post was given.
"I want to relate in short form ) an experience I had about 4 days ago in hopes that it might save a life or injuries to a dog.
My dear friend Steph and I had met at the AZ CA border and had lunch and a brief visit and then went out separate ways each traveling with a dog. The dog in my car had been with 4 different people in four days time so, thinking that she would feel better in the front seat with me, I seat belted her airline approved crate into the front seat with the door facing me. Well, about 50 miles down the road to home (which is 3.5 hours away) we were in an accident. Not my fault. Not even a little percent my fault, however, an accident non the less, and the van is totaled. Air bags opened (an experience you should avoid at all cost even though it undoubtedly saved me from more severe if not fatal injuries) and when I looked over to see dear doggie her crate was smashed in on the side and the air bag was inside the crate and there was no dog! I thought she had somehow been thrown through the opening the air bag had come out of and was dead or mortally wounded which made hysteria take hold immediately. Something made me lift up the air bag on that side and there she was on the floor not a scratch or bruise on her. I have no idea how she escaped uninjured. She is severely overweight (not my doing) and is now on a slimming routine, however, I think her excess padding may have saved her life in this instance. Anyway, lesson to learn....airline approved crates are no match for air bags so never allow your dog to travel in the front! I'm told that had the crate been facing frontward she probably would have been killed. Air bags are terrifying things and the police told me they hit at 200mph. My chest verifies that.
So be careful out there! And be safe!