Did Jeff Gordon Almost Die Today?

Sure seemed that way. He took a really hard crash into the wall today in the Pocono 500 when his brakes failed, but he walked away from it. In an interview soon after the crash, even Gordon sounded surprised by the fact that he wasn’t badly hurt, or even killed. “That was one of the hardest hits I have ever taken,” he said. “Between the soft wall and the seat and the safety device, I never got knocked out and I was surprised that I feel pretty good.” A few months ago, we wrote a N.Y. Times Magazine column about some of the safety innovations that NASCAR instituted after Dale Earnhardt was killed five years ago in Daytona. Among them were three of the changes that Gordon mentioned today — the soft walls, the safer seat, and the HANS neck-and-shoulder restraint. Our editor at the N.Y. Times gave the column this spot-on headline: “How Many Lives Did Dale Earnhardt Save?”


Sony

Hey there. This comment has nothing to do with this post. Rather still about Distric 214. *sigh* It seems that Ms. Pinney believes that why over 1000 people showed up (many whom are students) well, lets just say the students 'incentive' by going/speaking to the board meeting was the teachers "coxed" us and offered 'extra credit' It also seems she wont (as we all thought) give up this fight with banning Freakonomics or any of the other books. No worries again. I will attend the next board meeting once again giving my 2 cents about this. Moreover thank you so much for the free copy of Freakonomics. It will continue to enlight minds. -Sony-

P.s- Im very proud of other District 214 citizens to share and speak about this matter. Along with me, stay updated with this issue.

dvrravi

i dont know much about NASCAR , but there is always something about a person who is of a use to the world even after his death

Siwi

Dig, dig, dig. It is until a attractive news happened(eg. death) that people are reactive to dig dangers out.

That's why we keep experts exist in our world. And they sould keep dangers of their area in mind every minute in life.

jborneman

The soft walls "SAFER barrier" may have been implemented by NASCAR after Earnhardt's death, but they were invented at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and their development was sponsored by the Indy Racing League. They were first installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAFER_barrier

leliathomas

While I'm glad Gordon lived through this--though I know near to nothing about NASCAR, heh--it frustrates me that a man with busted brakes, going God only knows how fast, and hitting a WALL survives, and yet...we apparently haven't figured out how to keep basic to severe injuries from happening on our actual roads, when we're going much slower and hitting a lot less than a wall. I don't know much about cars (okay, almost nothing!), so it may just be ignorance on my part, but the comparison seems to allude to the idea that our cars are a lot less safe. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. :)

smackfu

Heavy steel-tube rollcages alone would greatly increase the safety of your average car. It makes the cars safe enough for movie stunts that would cause serious injuries in an unmodified.

But there is a cost: you get crap gas mileage, and you can't open the doors.

Same trade-offs with safety belts. Any race car uses five-point harnesses, which have two shoulder belts and a "crotch" attachment point. But consumers want to buckle up with a pull and a click.

porkypine

With regards to safety, I don't think it is possible to directly compare the rate of fatal crashes of NASCAR drivers versus those of everyone else. NASCAR drivers are highly trained professionals with seemingly endless hours practicing their craft. Nor are they teenagers, driving SUVs, under the influence of alcohol, on cell phones, or any of the other numerous things that contribute to fatal traffic crashes. Recently near my home, a man was *changing his shirt while driving*, during which he caused another SUV to roll into the median, ejecting an infant and killing another passenger. We would probably all be safer if there were more NASCAR drivers on the road.

mislissa

I am a popo, so I see a few crashes myself. A good number of things contribute to the high death rate....one of the most notable is a lot of folks do not wear a seatbelt and a lot of times the ejection from the car kills them. Also, in nascar you don't generally get the high speed head-on collisions (a lot of times from drunks going down the highway the wrong way) and high speed big SUV/truck into the side door of someone in a little car.

And as good of news story it makes when it happens, I have rarely seen when driving on a cell phone has caused a serious accident. Not to say that people are not distracted and drive dangerously, but the crash/death rate was high before cell phones. Also part of the problem is the ratio of the number of cars per actual amount of roadway has also greatly increased and is causing more crashes.

So to decrease the number of vehicular deaths in a year, I don't think you can look to NASCAR for solutions, as you have a very different set of problems.

Read more...

Sony

Hey there. This comment has nothing to do with this post. Rather still about Distric 214. *sigh* It seems that Ms. Pinney believes that why over 1000 people showed up (many whom are students) well, lets just say the students 'incentive' by going/speaking to the board meeting was the teachers "coxed" us and offered 'extra credit' It also seems she wont (as we all thought) give up this fight with banning Freakonomics or any of the other books. No worries again. I will attend the next board meeting once again giving my 2 cents about this. Moreover thank you so much for the free copy of Freakonomics. It will continue to enlight minds. -Sony-

P.s- Im very proud of other District 214 citizens to share and speak about this matter. Along with me, stay updated with this issue.

dvrravi

i dont know much about NASCAR , but there is always something about a person who is of a use to the world even after his death

Siwi

Dig, dig, dig. It is until a attractive news happened(eg. death) that people are reactive to dig dangers out.

That's why we keep experts exist in our world. And they sould keep dangers of their area in mind every minute in life.

jborneman

The soft walls "SAFER barrier" may have been implemented by NASCAR after Earnhardt's death, but they were invented at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and their development was sponsored by the Indy Racing League. They were first installed at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2002.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SAFER_barrier

leliathomas

While I'm glad Gordon lived through this--though I know near to nothing about NASCAR, heh--it frustrates me that a man with busted brakes, going God only knows how fast, and hitting a WALL survives, and yet...we apparently haven't figured out how to keep basic to severe injuries from happening on our actual roads, when we're going much slower and hitting a lot less than a wall. I don't know much about cars (okay, almost nothing!), so it may just be ignorance on my part, but the comparison seems to allude to the idea that our cars are a lot less safe. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. :)

smackfu

Heavy steel-tube rollcages alone would greatly increase the safety of your average car. It makes the cars safe enough for movie stunts that would cause serious injuries in an unmodified.

But there is a cost: you get crap gas mileage, and you can't open the doors.

Same trade-offs with safety belts. Any race car uses five-point harnesses, which have two shoulder belts and a "crotch" attachment point. But consumers want to buckle up with a pull and a click.

porkypine

With regards to safety, I don't think it is possible to directly compare the rate of fatal crashes of NASCAR drivers versus those of everyone else. NASCAR drivers are highly trained professionals with seemingly endless hours practicing their craft. Nor are they teenagers, driving SUVs, under the influence of alcohol, on cell phones, or any of the other numerous things that contribute to fatal traffic crashes. Recently near my home, a man was *changing his shirt while driving*, during which he caused another SUV to roll into the median, ejecting an infant and killing another passenger. We would probably all be safer if there were more NASCAR drivers on the road.

mislissa

I am a popo, so I see a few crashes myself. A good number of things contribute to the high death rate....one of the most notable is a lot of folks do not wear a seatbelt and a lot of times the ejection from the car kills them. Also, in nascar you don't generally get the high speed head-on collisions (a lot of times from drunks going down the highway the wrong way) and high speed big SUV/truck into the side door of someone in a little car.

And as good of news story it makes when it happens, I have rarely seen when driving on a cell phone has caused a serious accident. Not to say that people are not distracted and drive dangerously, but the crash/death rate was high before cell phones. Also part of the problem is the ratio of the number of cars per actual amount of roadway has also greatly increased and is causing more crashes.

So to decrease the number of vehicular deaths in a year, I don't think you can look to NASCAR for solutions, as you have a very different set of problems.

Read more...