Nearly 3,500 people used the ‘tumbling car’ seat belt demonstrator on its first visit to the UK.
The car, owned by the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Studies (VSV), proved an attraction at the four-day Goodwood Festival of Speed* having been loaned to the Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP), thanks to support from GEM Motoring Assist.
The car rotates 360 degrees – effectively leaving passenger hanging upside-down, with the seatbelt holding them in place.
GEM Motoring Assist first saw the car in action in Belgium last September as part of Project EDWARD 2016, and describes it is a ‘spectacular reminder’ of the importance of wearing a seatbelt.
Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “Visitors to our stand were initially curious at the sight of a strange spinning car. But this quickly turned to amazement for everyone who went on the short ride and experienced being upside down and spinning, with only a standard three-point seatbelt to keep them safe.
“Of course, we hope this will never be a situation they will experience for real, but if they do find themselves in a collision, then they now have first-hand understanding of just how effective a seatbelt can be in helping them to avoid serious injury.”
Recent research, published in the Road Safety Observatory, found that seatbelts are ‘50% effective’ at preventing fatal injuries for drivers. For front seat passengers, seat belts are 45% effective at preventing fatal or serious injuries, and 20% effective at preventing minor injuries.
*First held in 1993, the Goodwood Festival of Speed is described as motorsport’s ‘ultimate summer garden party’ – an ‘intoxicating celebration of the world’s most glamorous sport’.