Risky speeds that would put a roller coaster to shame, auto racing is a sport for the wild child in all of us. Auto racing, also known as motor racing, automobile racing or car racing, is a high-risk sport and that means all sorts of accidents. This sport is certainly not for the faint of heart, it requires the willingness to put it all on the line every single time you’re on the track.
Auto racing has existed sin,ce the invention of automobiles, and the first-ever race is recorded to have taken place in 1867. NASCAR falls in this category of high-risk auto racing, but they have increased their safety measures ever since the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt in 2001. There actually hasn’t been any fatality in the race since then, and right now, crashes are the least hazardous aspect of the sport.
NASCAR greatly revamped their safety measures and introduced the kill switch, the SAFER barrier, the restrictor plate, the car of tomorrow and the HANS system. Using the Car of Tomorrow is actually exponentially safer for the driver than the average consumer vehicle on public roads. You may have seen cars flipping over several times during a race and sometimes even catching fire. You see those drivers being taken away on ambulances and think it is over for them, but do not worry, the drivers are usually fine, and more annoyed than hurt.
In fact, the pit crew and officials are usually at a much bigger danger than the drivers themselves. However, although the cars are safe, and the drivers are not at as much of a risk of losing their lives as before, there are still plenty of concerns. Let’s get into all the other things you have to worry about if you work on the world of auto racing.
Inhalation Of Fumes
During the race, the driver is at risk of inhaling fumes from burning rubber, gasoline, as well as all the second-hand smoke from the crews and spectators at the pit. Yes. There is a shocking amount of cigarette smoking going on in the same place where gasoline is being changed. Cancer in NASCAR drivers from the inhaled fumes is one of the highest risks of this auto racing sport.
Although there haven’t been any reported deaths since 2001, death is still a high risk with other types of auto racing. In the period between 1990 – 2002, there were 22 reported fatalities related to the industry in the United States alone. The secondary effect of death on family and friends is actually extremely substantial, not to mention the fans.
It is therefore important to note your own personal driving skills before venturing into Auto Racing as a sport, in order to avoid the many fatalities associated with it. A simple error from a driver can cause the car to spin and send it aloft. This may impact an unsuspecting car from a fellow driver, and cause an unimaginable accident.
Brain Injury And Other Physical Injuries
During a survey that was conducted on 200 drivers, it was noted that the spectators suffered traumatic injuries as a result of cars spinning out of control. The driver, in this case, is exposed to a wide variety of injuries that are sometimes fatal. Death is not the only risk, brain injury, or loss of a limb or hand can be a big fatality as a result of auto racing accidents.
A sport like NASCAR regularly issues press releases that are mostly about the crew and drivers warning them of violating the NASCAR illegal substance abuse policy. The understanding behind this is that; the stress of the sport, where the drivers travel at a grueling speed while competing, causes them to risk their lives by engaging in the use of illegal substances.
Not only is this a huge risk on their health, but a driver who competes under the influence of controlled substances has a higher risk of causing an accident. It is therefore advisable for them to seek help before they become dependent on controlled substances that are likely to lead to their death in the long-run.
These races are usually extremely loud and in most cases, there are rock concerts going on in the background, which can be hazardous to the drivers hearing. Most of them usually have to wear earplugs but of course, this doesn’t really protect them from the risk, plus the long-time overexposure to loud noises places them at a health risk.
Due to the length of the races, the drivers are usually at risk of dehydration, especially because they won’t allow themselves to stop and drink some water. This can lead to problems such as deep vein thrombosis, which are blood clots as a result of dehydration. Brian Vickers was actually ordered by his doctor to stop racing for six months after he developed a clot as a result of dehydration.
The Good And The Bad World of Auto Racing
Auto racing is all about the thrill, and drivers and spectators alike can say it’s an amazing way to spend the day. However, anyone thinking of getting into the sport as a professional should consider all the risks that go along with it too. Like in any sport, there will be good days and bad days, but as a NASCAR professional your good and bad can be much more extreme than in any other sport.