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Safety first: From the track to the road

Nico Rosberg | Updated on: Oct 07, 2011
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Formula 1 racing has always been associated with a need for speed. While this may sound interesting, even fascinating, it is something that cannot be considered when driving on the roads. Although it is considered a dangerous sport, Formula One racing is actually amongst the safest sports as it is supported by scientifically-backed safety measures. In fact, if you violate a safety norm in the sport, you pay a penalty. However, on the streets, the biggest penalty paid could be your life.

So, here are some tips on driving safely and learnings from the F1 tracks that you can use in everyday life…

Respect speed limits

During a race, F1 drivers touch speeds of up to 250-300 km/hr or even more. But driving on the race track is very different from driving on the streets as the race track is a controlled environment, while driving on the road requires utmost prudence by the driver. So it is important to maintain a speed limit as laid down by the traffic authorities at all times. With a large number of pedestrians, many of whom are senior citizens or children, respecting speed limits could mean avoiding innumerable accidents. As a practice, also make it a point to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles on the road, because you can never be too sure about their driving skill.

Use seatbelts/helmets

When you are driving at speeds as high as those witnessed in F1, seatbelts become necessity to remain buckled in the seat. This applies to anyone when driving on the roads as well. With the heavy traffic on the roads, you may have to stop suddenly at times by applying brakes, which is when the seatbelt is your most important safety device. The same applies for two-wheeler drivers also. It is equally necessary for two-wheeler riders to wear helmets, as even a minor injury to the head in an accident can be life threatening.

Don't phone and drive

Control rooms and navigators are a common part of the racing world, but on the street, you have to pay attention to whatever is around you. Talking on the cell phone while driving is one of the most hazardous acts which can lead to numerous accidents. Make sure you stay away from this practice of texting or talking on the phone while driving. There is nothing more important than your safety as also the safety of other people around you. Ensuring that kind of security to them is up to you, so do what's right, and avoid the cell phone when you're behind the steering wheel or riding a bike.

Refrain from driving if you are tired

Fitness matters a great deal on the tracks. The weight that has to be endured by every F1 driver is huge which puts immense pressure on the neck, shoulders, arms and legs. Similarly, for drivers who travel long distances, pain in the neck and lower back are common. So, ensure that you do some form of exercise everyday to keep your muscles relaxed and fit. Stay away from driving when you are tired or sleepy as it can result in loss of judgment.

Take care of your vehicle

The mechanism and machinery involved in race cars is very different from that of regular cars used on a daily basis. Even though cars today are built with certain safety features, they are not completely secure from mishaps. While F1 cars have been built with a safety cell called monocoque to withstand pressures like high speed or impact, this is not the case when it comes to your car. So, regular basic maintenance of tyres, engine, wipers etc. is essential to keep your car in good running condition. Your vehicle's fitness simply equates to ensuring your own safety.

Last words

While speed is one of the best thrillers, it is best applied on the race tracks only meant for such activities and do not consider the common roads as a race track. Ensuring your safety is in your hands and requires only small precautions to be taken.

Published on October 07, 2011
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