Any time you get into your car and start driving, there is already a risk of an accident. Driving a racecar is even riskier due to the higher speeds that can go to over 350 km/h.
In news, you’ll always come across racing car news or Point Spread updates which are always very popular. Race Car drivers know the risks, but they still wake up every day to give us a good show in the races. Here are some of the hidden dangers of racing.
As a racecar driver, it is always about your public image; you want to build a name for yourself. This can put a lot of pressure on you to perform. The first part is making a race; it can be stressful if you miss out.
During a race, the whole world is watching you, and during the post-analysis. It can increase your anxiety and stress hormones leading to a negative impact on your general health (increased acidity).
In a regular car, there is enough ventilation to keep anyone in the car safe. You also have the liberty to pull over for a few minutes to make it easier to breathe. A racecar driver doesn’t have this luxury during a race unless they want to limit their chances of winning.
Although race cars have safety measures to protect the driver against the dangerous gasses emitted, accidents occur that damage the sealed crash panels. This damage causes leaks which can be fatal to the driver’s health.
The temperatures inside a racecar can be about 55°C (180°F) or even higher depending on the weather during a race. This causes heat exhaustion.
A race car driver loses a lot of fluid due to the high temperatures. The cars are fitted with a drink system to curb the risk of dehydration, but this doesn’t remove the fact that a driver is exposed. There have been instances where the drink system failed to work.
People who sit for long hours during travel experience the issue of internal blood clots more often. An example is truck drivers who travel long distances for long hours.
A racecar driver is not exempted. A race may take over four hours, and the driver is in the car all this time. Apart from the time during a race, a driver spends most of his time training and testing cars for the race. Training is in a car, and they are seated most of the time for long hours.
Traveling is also part of a race car driver’s life. If they are not traveling for a race, they are traveling for appearances, especially for sponsored drivers.
Race Cars release thunderous sounds that could even go beyond 100 decibels. This is way higher than the safe levels set at 70 decibels. It is common knowledge that sounds above 85 decibels can harm your ears.
A racecar driver is exposed to this kind of high sound for almost every training and racing period. Drivers like Cale Yarborough, Jeff Gordon, and Richard Petty have come forward about their hearing loss due to racing.
It is common for accidents to occur in racing that leads to crashing. It is too familiar that at least one crash happens in every race. You never know if you will be the victim in the race you are about to start.
A driver is well protected and may not suffer serious injury due to a crash. Still, sometimes the injuries take longer to heal. These long periods make the driver miss events, and it might be a loss to them, especially for losing their sponsors.
The mother of all dangers in racing is the risk of actual death. Knowing common instances of crashing, you may not know if the next crash will lead to your final breath. A driver gets into the car, ready to race, with this in their mind.
Apart from the actual death from crashing, the other risk factors like exposure to fumes, overheating, and stress negatively affect the quality of the driver’s life.
Racing is risky. It is risky for the driver from the time they wake up. The drivers understand this, even before they get into racing as a career.
However, they are just that, risks. They should not hinder your aspiration to be or continue being a racecar driver. It is a profession, and every profession has its risks.