Motorsports Safety Issues

Posted by Genna | Posted in | Posted on 4/27/2009


After the weekend’s horrendous crashes at Talladega Superspeedway, the fans are outraged. I don’t count myself among those outraged. I rather take the time to thank the Lord that nothing worse happened. Maybe it is just me but I hate to dwell on things.

A few years ago I was at a track here in Tucson called United Sports Arizona and there was a really crazy wreck that happened that was eerily similar to the one between Brad and Carl and which involved Ryan Newman. The one big difference, which I believe made the wreck all that much worse, was the fact that the car which had become airborne ended up facing the opposite direction on top of the other car. The car did hit the fence but no fans were injured. It was scary because had there not been a fence there, I would have had a car on top of me.

And yet after having experienced that I am not upset or screaming for more protective features and better safety at races. When you buy a ticket, there is a disclaimer! You take the risk when you buy it that something can and might happen but probably won’t. If something does happen, it is not like you were not warned beforehand.

Moving on to the subject of the drivers. There have been a number of pretty spectacular crashes in recent NASCAR history. There have been a series of minor injuries as a result of those wrecks such as bruised ribs and other such things.

I am sure that with the recent death of Scott Kalitta, last June, safety has been a huge pressing issue on a number of motorsports fan’s minds. It was a tragic and horrible day that Scott was killed and I don’t intend for my following statements to take away from that. Please keep in mind that I was another member of the racing community that was heartbroken over Scott’s death. Now I may not have been a NHRA fan but it touched close to home when that happened because I believe motorsports fans, no matter what league of racing, are a huge family and when one racer dies, we all mourn.

However the NASCAR series is what I believe to be one of if not the safest series in racing. You have really hand it to the NASCAR safety engineers- they are doing something right because there have been no fatalities and very few injuries as a result of these wrecks.

I don’t claim to be an expert on any of this, all I know is that as a fan, I believe NASCAR is doing and has done all they can. I believe the HANS device, roll bars, roof flaps, SAFER barriers are all doing their job to protect the guys that are in those cars. I also believe that if you ask any driver about the risks they will tell you that they understand the risks that racing carries but they are willing to take those risks to do what they love.

Race fans- let the drivers to the racin’, the engineers do the worrying and let us just sit back and enjoy the races.

Comments Posted (1)

Drivers and fans alike know the risk of being either in the car or sitting in the stands. No driver is forced into the racecar Sunday afternoon. Each of them realize that when you drive at 200 miles and hour you might get severely injured or killed in an accident. Fans understand that racing can be deadly and that's actually part of the draw to the sport. I'm not saying I agree with that but it would be boring if there was never a wreck. I agree that NASCAR is doing all it can to make it safe for drivers and fans.

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