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Race Car Safety

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Essay title: Race Car Safety

Race Car Safety


This paper is going to explain the major safety devices built into the race cars used in the sport of auto racing. The paper is intended for the general readers that have little knowledge about auto racing and the safety features of a race car. Most readers will have a general grasp for the vocabulary and graphics used, since the sport of auto racing has been growing very rapidly in the past couple of years.

Race cars (see Figure 1) were not always meant for racing. In the early 1920's and 30's when prohibition was in place in America an undercover business flourished. People, mostly farmers had secrets plants where they produced whiskey and moonshine that was undetected by the police. The only real problem in doing this was how they deliver the

finished products without getting caught. The farmers did this by building these really fast cars that could out run any police car in the United States. The men that drove theses cars were called "bootleggers". Not long after every bootlegger in America had a fast car,

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and wanted to make it even faster. Then a ritual was

born, every Sunday when the bootleggers wouldn't be Figure 1: The Race Car working they would race each other to see who had the fastest car among them.

How Racing Started

Auto Racing was not an official sport until the early 1930's when a guy by the name of Bill France saw what the bootleggers were doing and decided to organize it. France first organized a race on the beaches of Daytona Beach Florida and this was the start of racing as we know it today. France then organized all the racers across the country to meet and they came up with one set of rules that everyone raced under. This was the creation of NASCAR.

How is Racing Safer Now Then Before?

As racing evolved so did the safety equipment. Early race cars were built with speed as the top priority and not safety. The race cars had very little in the way of driver safety back in the early 1940's, no seatbelts, no role cage, no racing seat, and not even a window nets. Back in the 1930's and 40's there were many deaths among race car drivers; this is what prompted the race car builders to make the cars safer to drive. The car builders in the sport today have a very high priority for driver safety. Car builders now have installed seatbelts, role cages, special racing seats, and window nets so that a driver will walk away from even the most sever crash.

The Seatbelt

The seatbelt (see Figure 2) were installed to keep the driver safe and secure during a crash. The belts are made up of a thick fire resistant material and each belt is about 4 inches in width. It is made up of five belts and that is why it is called a five point harness.

The Roll Cage

The role cage is made up of seal tubing that welded together and placed in the car to increase its durability. This is the key component in keeping the driver safe; it is built into the cars to help divert the energy that is created during a crash. The roll cage helps absorb the impact and also keeps integrity of the car.

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