FoS: Tumbling car highlights road safety message

Tumbling Car SUS-170629-155257001
Tumbling Car SUS-170629-155257001

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) and GEM Motoring Assist are attending this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed – and they’ve brought a very unusual vehicle with them.

The ‘tumbling car’, which simulates the experience of overturning or entering a rollover collision, has been loaned by the Belgian authorities to GEM and will be making its UK debut at the Festival.

The car is positioned on a rig, and volunteers are invited to get in it, buckle up, and experience what it would be like in a vehicle that turns upside down, then rolls over and over in a collision.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “We brought the Tumbling Car over from Belgium for the Festival of Speed this weekend to demonstrate how a seatbelt keeps people safe in their car and that’s the basic premise of it. It’s a standard three-point seatbelt. As you can see the car rolls over a number of times and it just shows you how it keeps you safe.

“Being in it? It’s an eye-opener, it really is. It’s very surprising how well the seatbelt keeps you safe in the car. It’s something you need to experience for yourself but the idea of doing it here is it’s in a safe environment rather than actually being involved in a crash.”

The standard three-point seatbelt that we know today was first introduced in Sweden in 1959. The design by Volvo innovatively spread the energy of an impact over more parts of the body to lessen the severity. It was never patented, and was subsequently offered to other manufacturers for free, so more lives could be saved. Since 1959, laws surrounding seatbelt use have been introduced into more and more countries, and it is estimated that 95 per cent of UK drivers wear theirs.

However, this still leaves more than two million drivers and passengers who are disregarding the laws implemented to protect them.

To see the car in action for yourself, and test it out, visit the SSRP/GEM stand number 409 at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this year.