Photo/Story Gallery 2002
Rollover Simulators Getting a Workout
From the Panhandle to the Southern tip of Miami, FHP’s three rollover simulators have been very busy drawing thousands of eager spectators—both adults and children—who want to see just what happens to the occupants of a vehicle in a rollover crash. In this case, the crash is only a simulation, and the occupants are only dummies. However, the effect is very real.
Onlookers are amazed when they see the difference between what happens to the dummies when they are buckled in and when they aren’t. When the occupants ride properly restrained, they simply roll around during the simulated crash. However, when the seat belts are removed, the dummies fly all around inside the car, crashing into each other with arms and legs swinging out of the windows.
Sometimes, one or two dummies are immediately ejected from the vehicle and go whizzing by the crowd before landing hard on the ground. Sometimes, a dummy flies out the window and simply slumps in a pile nice and still just before the car rolls over on top of his body. Other times, only half the body is ejected and the rest dragged under the car as it rolls over again and again. After watching the rollover simulation, most people agree that riding buckled up would improve a person’s chances of staying inside the vehicle and surviving a rollover crash.
All three FHP rollover simulators, including the brand new one received this past July for the Panhandle area, were generously donated by the Institute of Police Technology and Management (IPTM) and made possible through a Florida Department of Transportation State Safety Office grant. Since FHP has ten troops and only three simulators, troops must share the use of this valuable equipment, rotating it among adjoining counties.
According to the Public Affairs Officers, Occupant Protection Specialists, and others who use the rollover simulators in their traffic safety education programs, the rollover simulators are an extremely popular and invaluable tool for teaching seat belt and child restraint safety.