SUMMARY: (Repost from my Facebook page) Have I mentioned why you should find a good system for securing your dog in your car?
Bay Teamer friend Holly Newman evaluated some dog seatbelt harnesses and gave good feedback here.
Now there's a german study, with photos, of what happens to dogs and humans in front-impact accidents given various means of restraint. As in: dogs seriously injured or killed, in the process seriously injuring the driver or passenger. Interesting to note that their chosen harness restraint fails in one of the ways that Holly suggests; would be interesting to know how the one she suggests for big dogs (which I purchased and use occasionally when I can't use crates)) would hold up in the same situation.
Dowload the study's PDF from this page at wachusett.pssweb.net to read it and view the photos (they used dummies so no gore); it's not very long but it's very scary. (Or you can google "test report securing pets in cars" and they usually have a "quick view" that lets you see it in HTML right in your browser, like this.
My dog's crates currently are aligned front to back, at the back of MUTT MVR. It's very convenient for me and they fit well, but I've known for a long time that that's not optimally safe. It was confirmed when i was rear-ended a year ago just after a stop sign (so fairly low speed) and the rear door was jammed shut. Fortunately the dogs weren't in the car at the time, so I didn't have to try to extricate the crates from inside the van.
I'm now going to have to figure out how to arrange them transversely (perpendicular to car's length) behind the front seats instead, for maximum security.