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Race Car Safety

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  • Race Car Safety

    Incredible old film of race car wrecks. Whoa!

    Vintage Race Car Crashes on

    This is a great video. It makes you wonder why it took so long to invent seat belts, roll cages and fire proof fuel cells.

    Also rear view mirrors. As I remember hearing the story, at Indianapolis, the second guy in the car was the “mechanic.” His primary job was to watch the other cars and tell the driver when it was safe to move left or right. One year, a driver showed up with mirrors mounted on his car, and no mechanic rode with him. The other teams protested because his car was lighter without the passenger, and therefore faster. Race officials ruled it was legal. The next year, every car had mirrors…

  • #2
    Originally posted by GilaSlim View Post
    Incredible old film of race car wrecks. Whoa!

    Vintage Race Car Crashes on

    This is a great video. It makes you wonder why it took so long to invent seat belts, roll cages and fire proof fuel cells.
    Probably, because there's still quite a few of us around, who don't care to have "big brother" hanging over every little thing we do.
    Obviously, I'm just a hack-artist, you shouldn't be listening to anything I say .....


    • #3
      Big Brother didn't have anything to do with it in racing circles. That was sanctioning organizations responding to criticism from fans and sports writers who didn't like seeing their favorite drivers turned into grease spots or charcoal.
      Last edited by GilaSlim; 07-20-2012, 11:57 AM.


      • #4
        Great footage.
        That how it was.
        Racing in the old days was 50 50.
        Was it Hemmingway that said "there are only two sports, motor racing and bull fighting"

        Grip it and Rip it


        • #5
          Racing Safety

          I'm sure Darwin has not yet fully cleared the gene pool but,

          I think most race car drivers and the engineers who design the cars today want to use their brain to improve the chances of being around a while longer, rather than using contents of their brain to coat the track with a ....ummm.... new layer of pavement..
          Hobby Welder for about 32 years
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          • #6
            Big Brother here.

            I've been working since 1963 to ensure the safety of race car drivers. I was only 7 then, my folks were Tech Inspectors for SCCA road racing. I started out checking driver's suits and helmets. I currently do Tech for Desert Offroad Races in California and Nevada. Switched from road racing to offroad racing in 73.

            I'm big-time opposed to big government and police states. But somebody's got to try to keep people from getting hurt.

            Race car safety took some quantum leaps in the 50s and 60s, with minor developments since then. Each improvement is a very god thing.

            A couple of weeks ago at the MORE/SNORE KC Hilites Chili Cookoff race in SoCal, in the race start lineup, I confiscated a helmet off a guy. His crew brought another borrowed one in time before his time to start the race. That helmet is over 20 years old and the foam inside is falling apart and out of the helmet. The guy is in his early 20s. He was a toddler when that helmet started racing. It was a good helmet in its day, but it should be on the fireplace mantle now. It looks fine on the outside, but didn't have the required Tech sticker on the side to prove it had been inspected. I couldn't believe he felt it was more comfortable than the good one. Junk was literally falling out of it. Common sense would tell a person that helmet is done. But then common sense isn't all that common. That's why there are trained inspectors to watch over racers.

            This race was held in the same area as, and in fact the course went past a few hundred yards away from where the tragedy of the California 200 happened. That is still in the courts over the stupidity of people. In that incident, the racers were perfectly safe in the race truck tumbling over the rocks of the desert. Just uninvited non-ticket buying spectators who knocked down the signs warning them to stay back got seriously injured and killed while trying to touch race cars and trucks as they bounced past as fast as they could go on terrain too rough to drive most cars. Now the race organizers are being sued for the injuries and deaths of fools and are not allowed to put on events on public land. But then, they never had legal authority to keep those people off the public land or control where they went or what they did. The people who got hurt and killed were exercising their freedom. Then the families and insurance companies of the dead sue to make money off the consequences of that freedom.

            In motorsports, Big Brother is there to protect fools from themselves.

            I used to work for a large toy company doing basically the same thing, trying to ensure that the product was safe for kids to play with. But often the unsafe condition is not the product, but the kids using them and the parents who buy them. While I was there, there was a lawsuit filed against the company over a toy spaceship which fired soft plastic "missiles" with blunt tips. the spring was so weak that the "missiles" would fall about a foot and a 1/2 from the toes of an adult firing it. But a child playing with the toy in front of the TV with his parents sitting on the sofa watching and laughing at him shooting the missile into his mouth. Right up until he choked on it and they sat and watched him die without helping him or calling for help until after he was entirely dead and beyond reviving. Cost the company over 30 million $$$ for having sold product to another company that sold it to another company who sold it to incredibly stupid parents.

            Big Brother's middle name is "Darwin". But there are a great many people who don't believe in survival of the fittest and want everybody else to be responsible for their own safety while they go on acting as stupid as they can think of. Just watch some of the tens of thousands of videos on youtube of people doing incredibly stupid stuff. Then think of what percentage of such stupidity happens when no camera is watching. Then keep in mind that in the modern era race car drivers are safer in their race cars than they are in their bed at home before they go to the race...literally! Because of Big Brother!