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Thread: Fatality at Buttonwillow

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    Not Certified Slow SDSUsnowboards's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I understand where you are coming from, but....

    I used to do a ton of off-road racing. My favorite place to practice and closest place to race was privately operated Saddleback motorcycle park. With each death and serious injury that occurred, insurance got more difficult and more expensive to get. Even though all the suits were due to either "racing incidents" or blatant and wanton irresponsibility by the dead or aggrieved rider, the place got shut down as did Indian Dunes and Escape Country.

    It is in all our interests to limit injuries and death not only for the human toll on the driver and their loved ones, but for access to this sport by the rest of us. So yes, we do have a legitimate interest in applying peer pressure for safer participation or someone else will legislate it for us... or strip it from us.
    I respectfully disagree that there is any danger to our sport facing legislation at the state level. There are not nearly enough fatalities to make this a voting issue, therefore legislation is unlikely.

    I can't agree or disagree that there is a danger of tracks closing down due to prohibitively expensive insurance. I'm not an actuary, and I don't know any. I would assume, maybe naively, that the track owners and event organizers know what level of risk they can afford, and set forth rules that follow from that information. If they felt a financial crunch, I would assume stricter rules would follow. But, you present a real-world example of a track that closed down. Can you confirm how many fatalities it experienced per year? Are you certain it closed down due to insurance costs? Are you certain insurance costs increased as a result of those fatalities?
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    I respectfully disagree that there is any danger to our sport facing legislation at the state level. There are not nearly enough fatalities to make this a voting issue, therefore legislation is unlikely.

    I can't agree or disagree that there is a danger of tracks closing down due to prohibitively expensive insurance. I'm not an actuary, and I don't know any. I would assume, maybe naively, that the track owners and event organizers know what level of risk they can afford, and set forth rules that follow from that information. If they felt a financial crunch, I would assume stricter rules would follow. But, you present a real-world example of a track that closed down. Can you confirm how many fatalities it experienced per year? Are you certain it closed down due to insurance costs? Are you certain insurance costs increased as a result of those fatalities?
    I don't understand this line of questioning - are you suggesting that people shouldn't discuss or recommend measures that might improve driver safety at these types of events, even if it prevented one death every decade?

    I doubt anyone is taking the position that they were unaware that racing is dangerous, and therefore it is someone else fault (not here at least, I'm sure lawyers will find this to be true, right Richard?!). But if things can be improved, they should be.

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    Senior Member Eric Richter's Avatar
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    This is one of many reasons why I like this site. People discussing and learning from a tragedy. My thoughts go out to all involved. RIP
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    question: does HANS do anything in side impact ? does it help even a little ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Red_5 View Post
    Not sure what the answer to your question is exactly but there are other head and neck restraints that have tested better than HANS in lateral impacts. HANS seems to require the full containment seat and nets, which are good to have but not great for street driven cars, for full protection.
    Copy paste from a bf.c discussion Choosing a HNR - Page 2

    Disclaimer: I work for HANS Performance Products, makers of the HANS Device. Thank you for the opportunity of posting in this forum.

    There were some incorrect claims made upthread about side impact protection offered by Frontal Head Restraints. Here is the most accurate information currently available on this subject.

    FRONTAL HEAD RESTRAINTS AND SIDE IMPACTS

    1. All FIA and SFI certified frontal head restraints offer protection from zero to 30 degrees offset. No FHR provides complete protection in side impacts beyond 30 degrees. For complete side impact protection head surrounds, full containment seats or side nets should be your primary means of protection.

    2. What defines side impact? If you mean someone hitting your door at 90 degrees but the manufacturer means slightly offset from head on you are not talking about the same thing and you may not receive the level of protection you expect.

    3. Anecdotal evidence shows lateral head surrounds, full containment seats or side nets must be used to provide protection from side impacts; while your frontal head restraint provides protection from zero to thirty degree offset impacts.

    4. The Simpson 360 degree approach to cockpit safety - harness, helmet, suit, seat, nets and head restraint has been proven to provide exceptional levels of safety in your race car.

    You can find the complete line of Simpson Hybrid and HANS FHR's on our website. Here's a link.
    http://simpsonraceproducts.com/shop-...ck-restraints/

    Please feel free to contact me directly for further information. Thank you.

    Gary Milgrom
    VP, HANS Performance
    gmilgrom (at) teamsimpson (dot) com
    Last edited by Zxc4; 12-07-2015 at 04:39 PM.

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    Senior Member 48yota's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    problem is HANS is the only one that don't expire after 2 years. I find it really dumb that a piece of simple device will expire after 2 years. Like it or not, HANS device is a costly device (heck, it buys 3 tires !!), having it expired after 2 years really sucks.

    btw. I know how to buy a brand new HANS device for under $500 delivered. PM me if you need to know which dealer. So none of you have no excuse for not buying a HANS.
    William, PM me the info please...AROSC is going to mandate that all W2W drivers have HANS/NEXGEN device after the 2016 season, encouraging them to purchase next year. We will not allow anyone that races W2W in that race group with out it after 2016.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    problem is HANS is the only one that don't expire after 2 years. I find it really dumb that a piece of simple device will expire after 2 years. Like it or not, HANS device is a costly device (heck, it buys 3 tires !!), having it expired after 2 years really sucks.

    btw. I know how to buy a brand new HANS device for under $500 delivered. PM me if you need to know which dealer. So none of you have no excuse for not buying a HANS.
    This seems to be a racket. Those of us with older FIA-only certified devices don't ever need to get them re-certified, at least as I understand it. Only the newer devices with the SFI sticker have to be re-certified every 2 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    I respectfully disagree that there is any danger to our sport facing legislation at the state level. There are not nearly enough fatalities to make this a voting issue, therefore legislation is unlikely.

    I can't agree or disagree that there is a danger of tracks closing down due to prohibitively expensive insurance. I'm not an actuary, and I don't know any. I would assume, maybe naively, that the track owners and event organizers know what level of risk they can afford, and set forth rules that follow from that information. If they felt a financial crunch, I would assume stricter rules would follow. But, you present a real-world example of a track that closed down. Can you confirm how many fatalities it experienced per year? Are you certain it closed down due to insurance costs? Are you certain insurance costs increased as a result of those fatalities?
    I knew those guys nearly as well as I know Aaron, Joel, et al..... What I wrote is accurate.
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    Will someone recommend good window nets for a racecar that already has full cage, 6pt harness, Hans device and full containment seat. Im not sure what the standard is for west coast tracks, and after reading up on it i'm more confused than where I started.

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    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by illwillem View Post
    Will someone recommend good window nets for a racecar that already has full cage, 6pt harness, Hans device and full containment seat. Im not sure what the standard is for west coast tracks, and after reading up on it i'm more confused than where I started.
    almost any net will do. but I recommend installing a rear hinged rod (I first saw it on Oli's car, great idea), this way you only need to snap in front end.

    regular window net is very difficult to install by driver.

    I don't know who makes that, or if all are custom made. if someone can post it, that will be great.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hakeem View Post
    I don't understand this line of questioning - are you suggesting that people shouldn't discuss or recommend measures that might improve driver safety at these types of events, even if it prevented one death every decade?
    "I agree that there should be discussion about what happened at BW13, and what YOU can do to prevent it from happening to YOU."

    I doubt anyone is taking the position that they were unaware that racing is dangerous, and therefore it is someone else fault (not here at least, I'm sure lawyers will find this to be true, right Richard?!). But if things can be improved, they should be.
    Those things that can be improved should not be improved if they required drivers to purchase things, or prep their car in a different way beyond what they are already required to do.

    I feel you would understand my position if your budget for a whole year was under $2,000, and you were currently without some of the mandatory safety gear being discussed herein. I am under the impression many of you are not wanting for money, and I bet even fewer of you have to make the choice to either not do the sport, or do it with some concessions against safety. I'm advocating for those people that want others to leave them alone, and let them make their big grown-up decisions, weighing the balance of acceptable risk.

    Oli brings up a good point about how the community could be affected by the choices of individuals, thus my line of questioning is meant to assess if his anecdotal experience is relevant.

    FYI: I've got a cage made by Blackbird, an expired fia bucket seat, expired fia 6 point harness, Simpon Hybrid neck restraint, and SA rated helmet. However, if organizations began requiring everything be currently certified, I'd have to take at least a year off to save for everything.
    Last edited by SDSUsnowboards; 12-07-2015 at 05:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sampson Racing Radios View Post
    So sorry to hear this news. It was a bummer to hear this as we where passing BW on the way home from the NASA25hr and on such a high. Sobering....

    Please make sure to never take your safety in a car as a afterthought. I'm not saying that this car was not properly set up, I'm just saying even then **** happens and its a good reminder that this sport is very dangerous...

    Please... Pay for a great cage, buy a better seat with full head support, 5Pt harness (that is installed correctly) and pay the money for a good quality helmet with neck support system.

    My condolences to his wife and family.

    Hope the second injured person has a speedy recovery
    This is very sad news indeed. In terms of safety, I have brought up this topic in the past (Safety Rant on Time Attack) and the responses were not that supportive. I've always felt that certain safety items should be mandatory in HPDE after you reach a certain lap time. Of course, no safety equipment is guaranteed, but chances of survival and being able to walk away is increased.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    problem is HANS is the only one that don't expire after 2 years. I find it really dumb that a piece of simple device will expire after 2 years. Like it or not, HANS device is a costly device (heck, it buys 3 tires !!), having it expired after 2 years really sucks.

    btw. I know how to buy a brand new HANS device for under $500 delivered. PM me if you need to know which dealer. So none of you have no excuse for not buying a HANS.
    I'm pretty sure my NecksGen is good for 5 years before recertification. My DefeNder was good for 5 years but then needed newer fireproof straps. The cost was enough to nudge me to upgrade to the Necksgen - Plus they sweetened the deal.

    Edit: All SFI certified head and neck restraints have a 5 year recertification. Necksgen charges $15 plus parts and shipping.

    http://www.necksgen.com/faq/

    "Do you do a 5 year recertification?
    Yes, SFI 38.1 now requires a recertification after 5 years. The recertification will cost $15 plus parts and shipping."
    Last edited by Red_5; 12-07-2015 at 08:35 PM.
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    Very sad news. RIP Ivo and get well soon passenger.

    I agree that the only silver lining on these unfortunate events is that we learn from them so hopefully none of us suffer the same fate, or a least prevent it to the best of our abilities. These threads open the eyes of many new drivers who may not be aware of how vulnerable they and their passengers are on the track and offer a sobering reminder to the rest of us who may be thinking "oh it's just an hpde event maybe I don't need my hans this time...". A lot of us are or have been guilty of running sub-standard safety gear either out of ignorance, laziness, denial, or for budget reasons. It is personal choice, but it's an important choice for you and your families/friends. Seeing an experienced driver have a fatal incident in a caged car at a track many of us frequent is an eye opener. Going 2 wheels off is a common occurrence that can have deadly consequences, so prepare yourself ahead of time on what action you will take in that situation so when it happens you don't have to think.

    As for the event organizers, no they can't and shouldn't be expected to prevent driver error and all possible accidents. That's part of the game. But driver meetings with a responsible and experienced leader go a long way and there's no excuse not to have them. Patterns of bad behavior should be addressed and fixed before it becomes part of the culture of the group. It might be wise as an event organizer to discuss safety equipment options and help educated their customers. Especially if the transformation begins from full street car with air bags to something else. I would at least advise my customers to call a professional about safety equipment and not to DIY that aspect of their cars at least not without professional advice.

    As for flag stations, that is a concern. Seems like more can be done to absorb energy from impacts. What about drums of water like they use on highway exits as a final barrier around the concrete after the tires?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    I feel you would understand my position if your budget for a whole year was under $2,000, and you were currently without some of the mandatory safety gear being discussed herein. I am under the impression many of you are not wanting for money, and I bet even fewer of you have to make the choice to either not do the sport, or do it with some concessions against safety. I'm advocating for those people that want others to leave them alone, and let them make their big grown-up decisions, weighing the balance of acceptable risk.
    .
    yes, budget is important. but there are priorities.

    simple, if one do not have a budget for HANS, Halo seat and 6 point harness. track a modern unmodified car. I am willing to bet in this incident, or the incident at CVR, WSIR and SOW would have a different outcome with 10-20 airbag modern car has.

    most problems are caused by half ass job, which is a lot worse than bone stock cars (modern cars).

    another problem is most of track cars have thousands in mods, yet they whine about $500 HANS. all those incidents with 4 points harness can stick with stock OEM belts or cheap $70 5 points latch harness. all are cheaper and safer.

    no money for halo seat ? run 2 side nets for $100 total.

    no money for HANS. don't remove you ****ing airbagged steering wheel.

    no money for harness ? come on !! 5 points latch harness runs $70

    no money for any harness ? leave stock OEM belt on.

    no money for fire bottle ? come on, it runs $20 at Costco, and add hose clamp.
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 12-07-2015 at 05:30 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post
    "I agree that there should be discussion about what happened at BW13, and what YOU can do to prevent it from happening to YOU."


    Those things that can be improved should not be improved if they required drivers to purchase things, or prep their car in a different way beyond what they are already required to do.

    I feel you would understand my position if your budget for a whole year was under $2,000, and you were currently without some of the mandatory safety gear being discussed herein. I am under the impression many of you are not wanting for money, and I bet even fewer of you have to make the choice to either not do the sport, or do it with some concessions against safety. I'm advocating for those people that want others to leave them alone, and let them make their big grown-up decisions, weighing the balance of acceptable risk.

    Oli brings up a good point about how the community could be affected by the choices of individuals, thus my line of questioning is meant to assess if his anecdotal experience is relevant.

    FYI: I've got a cage made by Blackbird, an expired fia bucket seat, expired fia 6 point harness, Simpon Hybrid neck restraint, and SA rated helmet. However, if organizations began requiring everything be currently certified, I'd have to take at least a year off to save for everything.

    If your total budget does not allow you to play on the track safely, then why do it at all? This is just dumb logic. it's the same as: I don't have money for gas, but I want to go racing, so I'll just dump some cooking oil in there with some NOS octane booster from Walmart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    yes, budget is important. but there are priorities.

    simple, if one do not have a budget for HANS, Halo seat and 6 point harness. track a modern unmodified car.
    No. Just no.
    If someone can't budget for a HANS, a halo seat and a 6 point harness, how can they budget to purchase and possibly trash a modern car plus the assortment of mods necessary to make it track worthy such as, but not limited to, brakes, oil cooling, increased radiator capacity, and tires?
    Last edited by SDSUsnowboards; 12-07-2015 at 05:32 PM.
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    Be very careful of what you say you know because this time your quote is not true.I am very sad for the situation the Buttonwillow this
    weekend and I believe clubs should require much more safety equipment before allowing anyone on the track.we have a responsibility to ourselves and to others To operate in a safe manner which includes the proper safety equipment. That being said what we should talk
    about how his high school football as I believe driving a prepared car with the proper instruction is far safer.


    Quote Originally Posted by crzywhiteman01 View Post
    One thing I am curious to know is if the car was not on fire. Why were they taken out of the car ? You never move the patient in somet
    hing like this that could be a major neck or spine injury. Also wonder if extreme speed even has extraction equipment.
    I know speed ventures does and pretty sure NASA events do as well just seems odd. Or they don't have any safety crews trained working there.

    Also if I remember correctly the Mini Cooper was using a harness bar and 4 points , chuckwalla crash was passenger death due to 4 point and submarining into the foot well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SDSUsnowboards View Post

    I feel you would understand my position if your budget for a whole year was under $2,000, and you were currently without some of the mandatory safety gear being discussed herein. I am under the impression many of you are not wanting for money, and I bet even fewer of you have to make the choice to either not do the sport, or do it with some concessions against safety. I'm advocating for those people that want others to leave them alone, and let them make their big grown-up decisions, weighing the balance of acceptable risk.

    FYI: I've got a cage made by Blackbird, an expired fia bucket seat, expired fia 6 point harness, Simpon Hybrid neck restraint, and SA rated helmet. However, if organizations began requiring everything be currently certified, I'd have to take at least a year off to save for everything.
    Being able to race is not a right. It is a privilege that requires you follow a particular set of rules and meet a particular set of requirements. If you can't afford the minimum required safety equipment, you shouldn't be on the track. If you are willing to take shortcuts regarding your own safety, who knows what shortcuts you might take with the safety of others on the track around you. Yes, you can say would never do that, but I have a hard time believing you consider your life less imporant than other people's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vLude99 View Post
    If your total budget does not allow you to play on the track safely, then why do it at all? This is just dumb logic. it's the same as: I don't have money for gas, but I want to go racing, so I'll just dump some cooking oil in there with some NOS octane booster from Walmart.
    Also put on some long pants and shirts and nomex gloves. I have seen to many drive with shorts, tank tops, and even sandals...
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    Quote Originally Posted by winders View Post
    Being able to race is not a right. It is a privilege that requires you follow a particular set of rules and meet a particular set of requirements. If you can't afford the minimum required safety equipment, you shouldn't be on the track. If you are willing to take shortcuts regarding your own safety, who knows what shortcuts you might take with the safety of others on the track around you. Yes, you can say would never do that, but I have a hard time believing you consider your life less imporant than other people's.
    You can believe what you want, but you're following the slippery slope fallacy. Being safe is not a right either. It makes me wonder why you thought to mention the bill of rights.

    Presently, I meet all of the requirements (and then some) set forth by the organizations I run with. The same requirements that result in only one death every two years.

    So, can you articulate exactly what the problem is?

    EDIT: I'll meet you half-way. Let's assume you are correct that a person's decision of risk-taking also reflects his level of care about other drivers on the track. That would still not be a problem, because there is nothing keeping you from running solely with those organization that enforce the more stringent rules you are advocating.
    Last edited by SDSUsnowboards; 12-07-2015 at 05:47 PM.
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