Assume the position

I’ve spent more money on safety equipment than performance modifications for my car. I find it a little odd that my largest costs are for things I hope I never need. But those are the rules of the game. Safety first. I like to be prepared in all things. But am I physically and mentally prepared for a crash? How does one train themselves for a freak accident?

Dude, maybe slow down when you go off track?

Look at the steering wheel after the crash. My wrists hurt just looking at that. Back when I did a lot of skateboarding, we used to train ourselves to fall. We could bail out from way above a halfpipe and not get injured. The key piece of safety equipment was knee pads. The technique was to tuck your knees beneath you, lean back, and slide down the ramp. You could always tell the halfpipe riders in those days because the tops of our shoes were shredded from all the knee slides.

What’s the correct technique to minimizing damage in a car crash? Unconscious people survive car crashes better, so apparently it helps to be relaxed. You also don’t want your extremities getting banged about, so bringing your arms in is probably a good idea. I like how the driver in the video below has the presence of mind to grab his head to protect his neck (the video was previously featured on YSAR). If you’re not in a halo seat, that might be a good idea.

Teams often practice escape drills to get out of the car. I think I’ll add crash to my safety drill. It will go something like this.

  1. Start in the car buckled in with race gear on
  2. A team mate shouts crash
  3. Bring arms to chest, relax body
  4. Team mate shouts fire
  5. Turn off kill switch and (mock) activate fire system
  6. Unbuckle harness and get out
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