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Thread: Count the days until the end of HPDE as we know it

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    Default Count the days until the end of HPDE as we know it

    Speed Limits at Track Days

    I know some of you are members of the FB page HPDRE which has a very long discussion about this in the last couple of days.
    Words can not express how annoying and frustrating it is to watch the sport being actively pushed into this death spiral by fellow enthusiasts...

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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif emilio700's Avatar
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    I know this won't be popular, but I'm for it. The current state of affairs lets the public put themselves at far greater risk that I'm willing to pay for. Meaning, the first time an event promoter gets sued, looses their ass, insurance triples and the cost to do an HPDE triples.. I'll be pretty upset that we weren't more proactive in enacting some safety standards. I'd like to see a national non-profit that issues certifications to promoters and instructors that meet some agreed upon criteria. They lobby insurers for lower and maybe group rates for promoters. If an event promoter is certified and has certified instructors, they can advertise that and justify their potentially higher operating costs. If a promoter is not certified, they might pay more for insurance and cost about the same. Promoters pay dues to .org based on attendance, gross sales or number of track hours run.

    I just had along conversation with the importer of some FIA seats. The need to educate the masses on just how close they are to killing themselves and the friend in the right seat. Don't buy a bigger turbo, buy some damn FIA seats and harnesses. So many modern mid level performance cars are capable of such high speeds on track, I think the HPDE community as a whole is headed towards a nasty wake up call.
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    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Until such time people are either regularly forced or tricked into being in a car on a race track, I will vehemently oppose any attempt at forcing either tracks or drivers to be safe or "safer." Safety is a personal call. People have the right to be unsafe or to die if they so desire.

    3,650* people drown each year in the USA. If death in recreational activities bothers someone, then maybe that someone should crusade against swimming pools, which take many more lives each year than race tracks.

    *CDC - Water-Related Injuries Facts - Home and Recreational Safety - Injury Center
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    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Emilio, ignore my pre-edit post if you saw it. I misunderstood and thought you wanted mandatory speed limits at all organizers.
    Last edited by SDSUsnowboards; 08-20-2015 at 04:25 PM.
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    E, I don't disagree with you about the nasty wake up call at all, in fact, I'm just as sure as you are that we're headed that way.
    But speed limiting track days is a terrible idea, as it kills the ONE place that a car enthusiast has to experience their car at speed - legally.
    Also, a speed limit does nothing more than give a false sense of security, there's more than enough force in a 50 MPH impact to kill a person.

    The key lies with event organizers more than anyone else, vendors that support the community can only get so much trust from potential buyers because they have something to sell, therefore there will always be second guessing involved.
    An organizer that will proactively educate their customers about the dangers and how to improve their chances of survival will do far better than any vendor.

    At the end of the day, more people die every DAY in this country due cell phone usage while driving than HPDE drivers in a year.
    Where's the crusade on ending that?

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    ETK
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    Drowning and cell phone usage while driving are great examples of things that are major threats that people ignore. They are great ways to bring perspective. However, to really compare the risks I think you have to factor in the number of people at risk. Many millions more people swim and/or drive than attend track events. I am interested in comparing the risk level for the population that engages in the activity.

    I am not sure where I fall on this issue. I am all for Freedom, but lets use our heads about it. I wish I had data to back it up, but I think driving a street car in a HPDE might be more dangerous per seat hour than wheel-to-wheel racing in a well-prepped Miata or similar -- partly due to higher skill levels. That seems like a problem. Isn't it a little odd to lure people in to the sport by starting them in one of the more dangerous forms? Most non-racers have no clue about the advantages of having a race seat, hans, roll cage and fire system.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    Until such time people are either regularly forced or tricked into being in a car on a race track, I will vehemently oppose any attempt at forcing either tracks or drivers to be safe or "safer." Safety is a personal call. People have the right to be unsafe or to die if they so desire.

    3,650* people drown each year in the USA. If death in recreational activities bothers someone, then maybe that someone should crusade against swimming pools, which take many more lives each year than race tracks.

    *CDC - Water-Related Injuries Facts - Home and Recreational Safety - Injury Center
    I like it! Seth isn't an "R" or a "D".. he's an "L" it's a 1st amendment thing. What really sucks and is our legal system that allowing liability cases even when a person signs a release of liability and pays to participate in the activity..

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    I vote a big NO to speed limits at track days. Who says speed is the problem? What is the problem? One or two deaths a year? What were the causes? Fixed objects adjacent to the track (trees, poles, fences, ditches) and mechanical failures most likely. I think if we want to keep hpde drivers safer then we should provide more classroom instruction and possibly a written and driving test before allowing them to go solo. Add to that more thorough tech inspections especially for modded cars. Anything besides more rules to protect ourselves from hurting ourselves. Speed limits would just end this hobby for me and most people I assume. I'd rather just go karting than drive my corvette under 100 mph at the track.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    than drive my corvette under 100 mph at the track.
    that's called a Miata.....
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    OJR
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    Quote Originally Posted by R&T Article
    Track walks, classroom work, and corner observation had all but disappeared from trackdays. You had novice drivers sleeping through the morning safety meetings and still being permitted to drive. It started when the economy went bad and attendance went down, so standards were being relaxed to retain as many participants as possible.
    This. I think the speed some people are hitting with no understanding of vehicle dynamics is frightening. I have been lucky enough to grow up racing and started taking track walks at an early age. Sadly, I'm not sure a track day organization can survive requiring classroom work and a "learning day" if the others don't require it.

    And I will never attend events at some organizations because of their lack of safety and overselling groups. It's insane the situations I was dodging in my street car.
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    http://www.trackhq.com/Banners/yellowsitesponsor.gif Blackbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redtopz View Post
    Who says speed is the problem? What is the problem? One or two deaths a year? What were the causes? Fixed objects adjacent to the track (trees, poles, fences, ditches) and mechanical failures most likely.
    ^ This, +100.
    This is not a time to talk about percentage, because the number of people dying running HPDE in a year is low enough to count on one hand of a bomb squad guy.
    So, was speed determined as the cause of death in any of them?
    Data, please.
    IIRC, the latest death was not at an HPDE event but was at one of the exotic cars 5 laps rental deal and the cause of death was because the track was run backwards and the car hit a wall at an angle that it was never meant to be protected from.
    The latest socal death IIRC was the 21 y.o. girl in CVR that died because of submarining under a 4 point belt if I recall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ETK View Post
    Drowning and cell phone usage while driving are great examples of things that are major threats that people ignore. They are great ways to bring perspective. However, to really compare the risks I think you have to factor in the number of people at risk.
    Agreed. The thing that puts more people at risk should be held under higher scrutiny and concern. The thing that puts less people at risk should be held under less scrutiny and concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OJR View Post
    Sadly, I'm not sure a track day organization can survive requiring classroom work and a "learning day" if the others don't require it.
    Exactly. They might not survive because there is no great demand for it. Why is there no great demand?

    In my opinion, there is no great demand for that service because that service seeks to correct a problem that doesn't exist. But, soon, you're going to see businesses come around and they are going to do their best to convince you there is a problem--and they are selling the solution: instructors, speed readers, etc..

    Quote Originally Posted by slodrew View Post
    I like it! Seth isn't an "R" or a "D".. he's an "L" it's a 1st amendment thing. What really sucks and is our legal system that allowing liability cases even when a person signs a release of liability and pays to participate in the activity..
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    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    As much as I'd prefer utter anarchy, I could live with a 120mph limit for cars with factory safety equipment.


    Lots of good counterarguments though, totally possible to die doing 40 if you slide the driver's side of a caged car into a tree back east.
    Last edited by robburgoon; 08-20-2015 at 05:59 PM.

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    This is a stupid rush to judgement with no data. Thousands of drivers are on track. We get one or two sensational deaths. What is the stat for HPDE death vs. going shooting vs. driving the freeway, vs. riding your bike?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    This is a stupid rush to judgement with no data. Thousands of drivers are on track. We get one or two sensational deaths. What is the stat for HPDE death vs. going shooting vs. driving the freeway, vs. riding your bike?
    I'd wager per hour HPDE is the highest risk out of those. The bike might be a contender though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emilio700 View Post
    Meaning, the first time an event promoter gets sued, looses their ass, insurance triples and the cost to do an HPDE triples.. I'll be pretty upset that we weren't more proactive in enacting some safety standards.

    Don't buy a bigger turbo, buy some damn FIA seats and harnesses.
    I call BS on both these statements.

    We have already had our high profile lawsuit at ACS when the carrara GT driver killed himself and his passenger. Insurance paid off and some where held accountable as our system works. Tracktime costs did not go up a bit. Track driving is still a safe endeavor.

    Fia seat and harness will not make your car safer. Safety is a system and those two items are only part of it. There is not one piece of data that shows what safety gear makes a dual use car safer. Read my posts I am a safety Nazi but mandated gear for dual use is not the answer to a safer car. We know with data how to make a safer OEM car and a safer race car. Everyone is guessing on how to blend the two.
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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    I'm split on this. I certainly don't want to see track days come to an end, but I definitely see too much focus on being fast rather than being good, which leads to more situations where people get hurt, especially as cars get faster and faster.

    Sure, it's a "rush to judgement with little data behind it" -- can't argue that. But in today's America, very little is data driven. It's all based on wild hand waving and screaming and shouting.

    I'd love to see more organizers focus on teaching people and giving them feedback... I don't know if it can happen, and I am afraid that it will go away entirely at some point -- taking some racetracks with it.

    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    I'd wager per hour HPDE is the highest risk out of those. The bike might be a contender though.
    Let's see the data. Then we can make a real decision about need for change.

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    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveLevin View Post
    Sure, it's a "rush to judgement with little data behind it" -- can't argue that. But in today's America, very little is data driven. It's all based on wild hand waving and screaming and shouting.
    America is very little data driven let’s change that right here right now. Why should track drivers of all people lead this charge for change with no data? We all know the importance of data just to get faster in our sport. Why would we abandon data to make an informed decision about how we should guide our sport?

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