With the racing world still reeling from the tragic death of British driver Dan Wheldon, questions must really be asked about how safe motor racing is and in particular IndyCar racing? Wheldon’s death occurred in a 15 car pile up in the Indianapolis 500 race when a number of cars burst into flames in a mass collision.
Trials had been underway for a safer car and ironically Wheldon had been involved in those trials, but in this day and age, with all the safety features that are available in other race series, questions must be asked about ow this can still happen.
Of course motor racing has always been a dangerous sport, there is no other way it could be when travelling at such high speeds in such small and lightweight vehicles, but one should take note of the safety record of formula 1 cars whose last death on the racetrack was that of Ayrton Senna in 1994, and it is hoped that it will stay that way.
Formula 1 has taken great pains to install numerous additional safety mechanisms in the cars and in the rules to hopefully make fatalities on the racetrack a thing of the past. In contrast, since the death of Ayrton Senna, there have been fatal accidents in IndyCar races with Wheldon’s being the most recent.
Perhaps IndyCar and Formula 1 can take lessons from each other and learn some way to make fatal crashes a thing of the past so that more widows are not left and young children orphaned.