NASCAR Driver Safety

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NASCAR Driver Safety

addsmith addsmith
New User | Posts: 7 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 04/03/08
07:13 PM

“Although NASCAR frequently publicizes the safety measures it mandates for drivers, these features are often only adopted long after they were initially developed. The impact-absorbing "SAFER Barrier" that is now in use had been proposed by legendary mechanic Smokey Yunick during the 1970's, but his idea had been dismissed as too expensive and unnecessary. Only after the deaths of Kenny Irwin, Tony Roper, and Dale Earnhardt in 2000 and 2001 did NASCAR revisit the idea of decreasing the G-forces a driver sustained during a crash.

Other examples of slow reactions include the mandating of a throttle "kill switch" (mandated after the death of Adam Petty) and requiring anti-spill bladders in fuel cells and improved fire-retardant driver suits following the death of Glen "Fireball" Roberts. Dale Earnhardt was killed after he received massive head and neck trauma from a hard crash in the 2001 Daytona 500.

Earnhardt's death prompted NASCAR to require all drivers to use the "HANS Device" (Head And Neck Restraint System), a device that keeps the driver's neck from going forward in a wreck. Also with the introduction of the COT(Car of Tomorrow), safety features of the car itself has been greatly improved. Foam is inserted between the sheetmetal and the driver`s cage to help absorb some of the shock during a collision. The driver`s seat has also been moved closer to the center of the car to help minimize injuries resulting from side collisions.”
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