Yep, this is the one that none of us that are involved with motorsports ever want to talk about – its a forbidden subject simply because its not going to happen to us. But it does, tragically it happens too often and more tragically still, there might have been some method of avoiding it.
Circumstances can get the better of any of us, it doesn’t matter what you are doing. You can be minding your own business, nothings wrong and you can just be in the wrong spot at the wrong time. All of us that give any thought to this understand this point. But what drives me a bit nuts is not taking the steps that you can to safe guard your own safety. Safety rules are there for a reason yet we all ignore them from time to time, I am guilty of this myself. I normally try to make sure that I do everything possible to give myself that extra chance when racing a car. Whether that is planning an escape from the cockpit or just going through a safety checklist on the car – all of it is important.
We lost another racer today at Maryland International Raceway. Details are sketchy at best and I am not going to venture any opinion about what happened or didn’t happen. All I can say is RIP racer, I did not know you but you had a lot of friends.
It is another reminder that while we enjoy our sport of racing, it is and always will be, a blood sport. Take all the precautions that you can and refuse the thought that “no one else does this – why should I?”. Wear your safety gear, use it properly, make sure your car is mechanically sound and if some thing goes wrong – get out of the accelerator pedal and don’t go back to it.
One last thought – if you car does not have an easy to hit kill switch for emergencies, put one in. It might just save your life.