Has NASCAR Gotten to the Point of Being “Safe”?
Photo by Wesley Daniel / TheRacingExperts.Com
Mark Martin (55) dodged a potential serious injury in Sunday's race.
By Brandon Hauff
Over the years, the main concern for the sport has been to make it as safe as can be for the drivers. They have succeeded in it to a certain point, but are they completely there yet?
NASCAR has made many safety improvements since the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt back in 2001 such as the mandatory use of the HANS device, the extension of the head rests on the driver seat, and the installation of SAFER barriers. These all have been a big contribution to the safety of the sport. Fans never really thought how dangerous of a sport this was until one of the sport's main icons was killed. Even though it was because of a snapped belt, people thought that they needed to do something about the safety of everyone.
The appearance of the cars have had a lot to do with safety as well. In 2007, with the COT, it was supposed to take the sport to a new level of safety, making the cars heavier and of course, safer for the drivers. Since then, five years ago, there have been appearance changes to the car, but it is still the same model. To this day, they have done the job that they were intended to do five years ago. That was to make racing safe for the drivers, but still keep the excitement that we see today.
Overall, NASCAR could be considered “safe” but to many, it is still considered very dangerous. Even though it is very rare to see an injury anymore, it is still a risk that drivers take every time they strap into their car. In years to come, there may be many more advancements in safety for not only the drivers, but more for the pit crews and fans. Safety is the main concern for many people, but NASCAR has done their job in my mind to protect everyone involved in the sport.