The Driver and Vehicle Safety Features in Racing Cars
Racing cars such as NASCAR can travel at speeds in excess of 150-miles an hour, for this reason, safety measures are very critical. First and foremost, it is the duty of the car owner and driver to put in place all the safety concerns in practice by installing the necessary safety equipment’s and making the necessary modifications. Some of the safety nets implemented by NASCAR to make the race car safe for the driver are modifications to make the car less aerodynamic. The goal to make the car less aerodynamic has been achieved by placing a large spoiler on the COT chassis at the rear to increase stability. The other modification is the placement of the front windshield to stand upright and the redevelopment of the front bumper by adding a splitter to catch air instead of allowing it to cut through the air.
Some of the individual safety equipment’s targeted at protecting the driver include; helmets, window nets, restrictor plates, specialized uniforms, tire liners, and hands. Helmets are very important in auto-racing; they are primarily designed to protect the driver from head injuries. Because of its importance, helmets used in auto-racing events must be of the highest quality and durability. The window nets are normally clipped on the racing car door and the roofline. They are fitted to keep the driver’s body parts such as the arms safe, especially if an accident were to occur. The roof flaps help keep the car on the ground whenever an overbearing pressure is exerted on the car. The roll cage is an older safety mechanism that is common in many racing cars; it is typically a tubular cage where the driver sits.
The restrictor plate is normally placed between the carburetor and the manifold on most NASCAR vehicles. The plates contain custom-made holes that restrict the mixture of air and fuel from getting into the engine. The plates operate by equalizing the car speeds to allow each every racing car to move fast under manageable speeds. NASCARs use specially designed inner liners in the tires to provide some stand-out thread when the tire wears out completely to prevent the occurrence of a blowout. The uniform of racing car drivers is normally lined with Nomex or a fire retarding lining to protect the driver in case of a fire outbreak. Most of the uniforms contain up to three liners of Nomex to provide full support.
To protect the hands, racing car drivers wear gloves, socks, shoes and leather palms that are also lined with Nomex or a fire retardant material. The hand device or the head and neck restraint system is designed to protect the drivers head and neck against serious injuries during an impact. The hand system works in conjunction with the belt in keeping the body in line while racings; the device also stabilizes the drivers head by keeping it static. Safe barriers are also fitted along the racing tracks to absorb some of the energy that arises as a result of the impact.
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