Do you know that the three-time Formula One world champion Sir Jackie Stewart witnessed more than 56 car racing deaths between 1963 and 1973?
When drivers die during racing, it is simply termed as fate while others blame incompetent driving. Shockingly, racing organizers believe that collisions and spectacular crashes are what keep spectators glued to their tracks. In their view, if racing became too safe and orderly, then the audience will decline, rendering it boring.
However, maintaining the car racing fun without losing drivers’ lives in the action is still possible. If drivers were to observe these three basic safety measures, car racing events can definitely record zero deaths.
Don’t ignore the road conditions
Wet surfaces are risky and a driver must keep his car balanced to avoid spinning on the slippery ground. Although there are racing lines that drivers must follow, abandoning the lines to find your grip is ‘sometimes’ preferred. Equipping the car with the appropriate tires to beat the road condition should also not be ignored. Most importantly, adhere to early breaking, be on the lookout for slick patches that could cause skids and be sure to maintain distance with your competitors. The aim here isn’t to finish first but to get there save and sound.
Combat the heat appropriately
With all the safety clothing and equipment worn by racing drivers, doubled up by the heat from the engine and transmission, there is great danger of being exposed to extreme temperatures. The heat leads to profuse sweating which in most cases causes a little weight loss. Sadly, this loss is mostly fluid loss from dehydration which can easily decrease blood flow and hence less oxygen reaching vital organs. The result is a fatigued driver who cannot fully focus in the cockpit of a race car. To combat these effects of heat, and to become more effective during the race, car racing drivers should exercise regularly and stay well hydrated before the competition.
Surviving the tire blowout
Tire blowouts are very common on race tracks. It is one of the most dreaded incidences by most drivers since a tire burst can rob them the chance of winning a title. However, if this happens, the driver should remain calm-as hard as it seems- and keeps the car moving slowly in a straight path. Attempting to get back on the track at speedy motions could cause the car spinning or even worse smashing into other vehicles. So, accept defeat and safe lives.
A good racing driver is aware, alert and focused. The above tips add up to make racing drivers better and safer. However, any driver should never forget the car driving basics- as obvious as they may appear; ensuring the tires are inflated, checking for enough fuel and most importantly the car should be licensed and insured.