No, this isn't a kill story. No, this isn't a lecture. It's just me ranting... I'll post some kill stories soon to make up for it
You've raced on the street before. I've raced on the street before. Yes, it's stupid. Yes, it's fun. So I guess that makes it... stupid fun..
Anyway, here's what I'm asking of you. The vast majority of deaths and serious injuries that occur as a result of street racing could have been avoided if simple precautions had been taken! There's always a chance of blowing a tire when you're rolling through the end of the 1/4 at 100+, or someone losing control right off the line and hitting the flagger, etc. Those are both extremely rare occurances compared to fatal accidents where either a bystander gets hit by a moving car or an unprepared driver loses control and is seriously injured as a result. I'm not your mom. I'm not a cop. (In fact, I like to think of myself as the complete opposite). If you're afraid of looking like a ##### by following any of these simple ways to reduce the risk of disaster, go to the track or find another hobby.
Random encounters on the street in traffic are exciting and tempting
, and quite often too much to resist for some of us. This is also where most deaths and injuries occur. Although they're still illegal, organized street races much more closely simulate track conditions and usually involve people who are as serious about their own safety as they are about performance. On the street you're taking more of a risk. Is that guy who just revved at me ###### out of his mind right now? Is that even his car? What's going to happen if I win/lose (or draw)? For the record, that last sentence was the cheesiest pun I've ever come up with. Thank you. I'd tell you to sotp laughing, but you're not. Move along.
NEVER race in the rain. Ever.
I dont care if you have a WRX with aquatreds and an empty 8 lane highway up ahead. The same goes for snow, obviously. I'm not f'ing kidding. DO NOT RACE IN THE RAIN. Even if the roads are just slick from a quick shower. It so greatly decreases the driver's ability to control the car it's ridiculous.
ALWAYS wear your seatbelt, jackass.
Yes you, the hero who thinks he's too tough for safety restraints that strap him in place. Swallow your pride for two seconds and do yourself the favor of not looking like a complete idiot; buckle up. Where I race, if you pull up to the line without a belt or harness on you're not getting flagged to run anything other than your mouth until that's taken care of. It's by far the simplest way to make every type of driving safer for everyone in a car. I also suggest wearing a helmet, even on the street. You wear it at the track if you're going quicker than a certain ET anyway, and smart people wear them regardless of their ET. I'm quite comfortable with racing my car with a helmet on. It creates a very unique field of vision that I'm comfortable shifting and racing with, on top of being a priceless safety device. Let people call you names all they want. Do yourself a favor and wear a helmet. If you start doing it there's a very good chance that others will as well, trust me. Your head is fragile. Do it a favor.
For the love of God, watch the race from somewhere that's not in front of the cars when they launch! This
<-- click.. is what happens when high powered cars lose control. Would you rather be in front of or behind that car when that happens? Yeah, me too.
Flaggers vs Traffic lights.
This is debated frequently, which is safer. IMO, if there's a traffic light it's because that intersection gets a significant enough amount of traffic to make it worth having the light there. Therefore, it's too busy of a place to camp out and race at. Try to find an industrial park or somewhere similar that has as little traffic as possible. The wider the road is the better off you are. Having more than one way in and out is helpful when Johnny Law decides to show up with his pretty blue and red lights flashing, but it makes the chances of a random car pulling out greater as well. Using a flagger makes the launch more fair anyway, since people tend to take off early if they know the light patterns and try to get an early jump as a result.
All of this doesn't just apply to straight on 1320 ft drag racing either. There are no tire barriers or sand pits to slow you down if you go off a public road while taking high speed turns. Trees and telephone poles will slow you down though, VERY quickly. It's not a laughing matter; I've had several friends die in that type of situation.
If you're wondering what inspired this post, join the club.
For whatever reason I just feel especially obligated to help prepare other people to help make this inherintly dangerous activity as safe as it can possibly be. Did I spell inherintly right? Probably not.... ah, close. inherently. Spring is right around the corner and we'll all be out cruising around when the warm weather hits. The winter projects are coming to a close and everyone's eager to test them out.
If you're interested in finding more information about organized street racing,
the internet is a priceless tool. The same goes for anyone looking for info about legal racing. There's a post at the top of this forum with a racetrack locater for all of North America. You won't find anything like that for illegal street racing, but you will find websites. Before you get yourself involved, be prepared. Street racers are generally not the most clean cut law abiding citizens out there, to say the least. Do some research on who runs the show, how careful they are about precautions and protecting everyone involved compared to glorifying themselves personally. You don't have to come right out with an 8 second car, you can go and watch or ask around first. Be aware that even spectating is physically and legally dangerous though, the levels of each depending on the area you're in.
The judicial system tried to teach me a lesson. My parents tried to teach me a lesson. My busted transmission tried to teach me a lesson. Ultimately it's up to you to decide what levels of risk you're willing to take to have fun with your car.
For those who just can't resist, please make it as safe as possible for yourself and those around you. Preaching about safety goes over much better than people usually expect... there's an extremely good chance that someone there in that crowded parking lot full of eager street racers knows someone who has either died or been injured in a racing related incident.
Of course this is all coming from a guy who has a car with one seatbelt and is on probation for recklessly endangering another person in a street racing related incident... we've all got room to improve.
:thumbsup: To those who take steps to protect themselves when racing.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: To those who also think of the people around them when the potential to race exists.
:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: To Lucky Charms, which are waiting for me in the kitchen.
Feel free to add your own thoughts on anything I mentioned above. Good night.