Since the creation of the automobile, sports involving cars racing each other have become standard. Years went by, the speeds became higher, and so was the thrill. But this also means that the associated risks have increased. Some situations were dangerous not only for drivers but also for spectators.
Our article will take a look at existing protective measures featured in motorsports. We will examine their evolution over time and how exactly they work. What we won’t do is to provide any guides related to autosports betting. While there’s a large market for wagering on such disciplines, albeit not as big as football and basketball, they still have a presence. If you want to get tutorials and guides on betting, check out articles like this instruction on downloading Betway’s app that explains the process in detail.
Let’s start with ways to protect drivers used in various sports. In the modern racing world, they reach incredible speeds and are often put in potentially dangerous situations. Unfortunately, deaths occur as well, although now they happen rarely compared to earlier days of motorsports. In the following few sections, we will discuss the measures various sports organizations use to prevent damage and save the lives of racers.
F1 Protection Devices
In the early days of F1, no significant protective measures existed. Of course, the drivers wore helmets, the marshals already existed to get to a scene quickly, and the cars were designed to be somewhat durable. Still, everyone understood that each race had a serious chance of ending badly. Things started changing significantly for the better following the death of Ayrton Senna, although many preventive measures appeared earlier.
For example, protective race suits were required to have fire resistance by 1975. A monocoque, or a survival cell, became a thing in the 1980s. Since the beginning of the 1980s, a safety car has become a regular occurrence in Formula 1.
The headrest and HANS (Head and Neck Support device) appeared at the end of the 1990s and the beginning of the 00s, respectively.
Rally Safety Devices
Rally might not reach the speed limit attainable in F1 and NASCAR, but rough conditions and other things can create a lot of danger for the drivers. All of the cars feature a roll cage, a structure that prevents the sides and the roof from collapsing, increasing the chances of surviving a crash.
The manufacturers design the seats and harnesses to be as safe as possible. The seats are bucket ones. They surround the driver, providing a perfect level of security. The harness features six points, as opposed to three on regular seatbelts. One can find a fire extinguisher and a first-aid kit in all rally cars.
NASCAR is thrilling, impressive, and quite dangerous. The list of fatalities related to the sport is longer than anyone would love to see. So, several safety measures are designed to save drivers’ lives.
The devices include fire-resistant suits, seven-point harnesses, window nets, and roof plates. The drivers wear helmets, as is the case in other autosports, and there are fire-resistant shoes since braking and high speeds can cause the floor to get quite hot.
Like F1, NASCAR drivers must wear HANS devices protecting their heads and neck. The device has an “U” shape, and its legs surround a driver’s neck, protecting it from sudden movements. Such a technology can significantly reduce the risk of a severe injury and even save lives.
While obviously, the drivers participate in a hazardous activity, the spectators are often quite close to a track. So, there are various measures used to protect them from damage. There are usually barriers and other things.
Let’s take a look at some of the preventative measures:
- Barrier protection. Catch-fencing and impact-absorbing barriers will shield the spectators from debris if any crash happens.
- Designated spectator areas should usually be placed at a certain distance away from a track. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case; in some rally racing, one can see people standing close to the road.
- Strict safety regulations for event organizers are essential. What’s also crucial is ensuring that everyone follows all safety protocols, including regular inspections of spectator areas and emergency evacuation plans.
- It’s also important to communicate safety guidelines to the spectators and make them hear them.
- There must always be medical personnel on-site. The same goes for emergency services.
- The organizers must go through detailed safety assessments before an event. They should check for all possible problems and hazards.
Motorsports involve danger. Nearly any discipline of this kind has a certain number of fatalities, with some being more gruesome than others. But you live and learn, so in most cases, the organizers started adding more safety devices, preventative measures, and emergency features for the cases when any hazard occurs.
The results were worth it: now, dying in a crash on a track doesn’t happen regularly. While they still occur, the fatalities happen only once every few years. There are often situations where the drivers survive quite gruesome crashes, and in some cases, they walk away with a few minor injuries. One of the recent examples shows Ryan Pierce walking away from something that looked deadly at first in 2023.