Friday, August 10, 2007

Monster Truck Madness..

.. turned into Monster Truck Mayhem after nine people were injured, two seriously, while watching an event organized by the NAPA auto parts store in Dekalb, Illinois.

These vehicles do shows around the country, drawing in crowds, very often 'all the family', who appear to get a sense of enjoyment out of watching a lumbering, clumsy, over sized four wheel drive 'truck' crush cars and smash through mobile homes/trailers. All exciting stuff, for sure. The picture above and to the right shows an event of the type seen in Dekalb.

The official shows are well organized, and the crowd is protected as well as one can, bearing in mind that these vehicles, huge tires, four wheel drive, engines around 575 cubic inches and fuelled by methanol can more or less climb any barrier or fence.

Many feel that anything to do with motor sports is just an accident waiting to happen, and it has to be said that an event of the type held in Dekalb, Illinois fits the description perfectly. No large arena, no proper protective barriers, and a crowd blissfully unaware of the danger, seeing only the 'excitement'.

Motor sport is dangerous for the drivers, pit crews, event marshalls, and spectators. When attending events, be aware of the dangers. Stand at a distance that you feel is safe, taking into account factors like how fast you could get out of the way of danger if infirm or when you have small children in your care. An 'out of control' vehicle does not recognize barriers, and there is very little that the driver can do about it. There are safety features built into racing vehicles, but they do not always work as well as they might, and rarely do they enable a vehicle to come to an abrupt stop.

In the Dekalb incident, what happened to members of the crowd was bad enough, but it could have been much worse, the vehicle having crashed through a fence, finally coming to rest on railroad tracks.

Next time you and your family go to a motor sport event, enjoy the spectacle, color, noise, but do it from a safe distance and apart from keeping your eyes on the action, keep your eyes on your family too.

Have a great day and may all go well for you.

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