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MDOT demonstrates need for seat belts

By Staff
EJECTED FROM THE CAB Mississippi Department of Transportation officials demonstrated "Rover," a pickup truck designed to show what happens to unrestrained passengers during collisions, Thursday in the parking lot of Riley Hospital. Two dummies were used, one adult-sized and one child-sized. In almost all cases, they were ejected. "Rover" is available on request, free of charge, to high schools all over the state. Photo by Kyle Carter/The Meridian Star
By Kyle Carter / staff writer
Aug. 15, 2003
State transportation officials showcased their newest deterrent Thursday to driving without a seatbelt a Ford pickup that simulates what could happen when a vehicle crashes at 35 mph and then rolls.
Hall and other MDOT officials met Thursday in the parking lot of Riley Hospital to demonstrate their deterrent a vehicle they call "Rover."
During the crash demonstration, two dummies one adult-sized and one child-sized were placed in the cab of the pickup truck under different conditions. Then the vehicle was "crashed."
In almost every case, when the dummy wasn't properly restrained, it bounced in the cab and then was ejected out an open window.
Even when the child dummy was buckled in its seat but the adult wasn't, the child dummy felt the wreck's impact. In real life, a child would have sustained multiple injuries from being hit by the adult.
The only time both dummies would have survived was when they were both properly restrained, with the child in a car seat.
According to Jim Willis, MDOT safety engineer, three of four fatal crashes occur without people wearing their safety belts.
Thanks to a combination sponsorship by MDOT and the Child Safety Programs, high schools are welcome to request a crash demonstration at no cost to the schools.
Rover must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
For scheduling, contact Chassidy Galione at MDOT at (601) 359-701 or by e-mail at