Safety measures for Grand Prix racing drivers haven't worked

Sep 27, 2007

Most of the measures introduced over the past decade to boost the safety of Grand Prix motor racing, have not cut death rates or curbed speed, as intended, suggests an analysis published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Organisers have agreed regulatory and technical changes to boost driver safety over the past decade, including serial reductions in engine size, grooved tyres, and two way radio frequency data transfer (telemetry).

But drivers continue to die or sustain serious injuries in competitions, such as Formula One and Moto GP, say the authors.

Deaths in all types of motor racing have risen from 28 in 1979 to 37 in 2006, reaching as high as 45 in 2005, say the authors.

And while there have been fewer deaths in motorcycling, the rate of serious injury has continued to be high.

Lap times have also decreased steadily since 1995. The highest Formula One speed of just under 230 miles (370 km) an hour was recorded in 2004.

Safety improvements should not be too restrictive, say the authors. But they do need to work.

They suggest lowering the cornering speed, making vehicles heavier and safer, strengthening barriers around the track to protect both drivers and spectators, and the use of protective clothing for drivers.

“Since driver safety comes ahead of spectacle and business, it is not acceptable that drivers continue to die and or be seriously injured. Drivers’ injuries are an unsustainable price to pay for the show,” they say.

Source: BMJ Specialty Journals

Explore further: The battle for the bedroom

Related Stories

Design boost for lifeboats

Apr 08, 2015

The approach to the design of all-weather lifeboats is set for a re-evaluation as part of a major study being led by Newcastle University and the RNLI, with support from Lloyds' Register.

Camry Hybrid: A family car winner

Mar 25, 2015

The roomy, fuel-sipping Toyota Camry Hybrid family sedan gets better for 2015 with more appealing exterior styling, upgraded interior, improved ride and handling and quieter passenger cabin.

QUANT F car will be shown next month in Geneva

Feb 12, 2015

nanoFlowcell AG will show its QUANT F car at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. This is an electric auto in the style of an "e-sports saloon," a large sports saloon for four, with a range of 800 km (497 miles). ...

Recommended for you

The battle for the bedroom

2 hours ago

More and more of us are wishing each other goodnight by mobile phone. Unfortunately this means that we are sleeping increasingly badly. Now sleep researchers in Uppsala are creating an app to make us disconnect ...

Healthcare on (un)equal terms?

3 hours ago

Healthcare on equal terms is the basis of good public health. As socially exposed groups find it increasingly difficult to enter the healthcare system, our entire society risks becoming weaker, says Professor ...

Patient portals could widen health disparities

4 hours ago

Online sites that offer secure access to one's medical record, often referred to as patient portals, are increasingly important for doctor and patient communication and routine access to health care information. But patient ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.