To some, car racing is a spectator sport, but since it started, it has contributed a lot in terms of safety and protection. Because of the sport's many risks, several inventions have been introduced and changed the world of motoring itself.
If we are going to trace the history of auto racing, we can pinpoint certain moments that gave birth to everyday equipment that have saved millions of lives every year.
That said, let's look at some of these objects brought to us by auto racing.
This might come as a surprise to you, but the very first automobiles did not have rearview mirrors until the 1910s. Of course, racing had a lot to do with its development.
Automotive historians trace the history of rear view mirrors to Ray Harroun, a pioneering race car driver. It was during the 1911 Indy 500 when he installed the very first wing mirror to his vehicle.
Back then, race cars were manned by two people: a driver and a mechanic who gives instructions to the driver. The invention caused controversy at first, but the organizers eventually gave in.
Though Harroun was the person to install a mirror to a vehicle, it was Elmer Berger who patented the invention for widespread use.
Whoever takes the credit for it, you have to remember every time you are backing up that racing has made the roads safer.
Anything can happen on the road, and that includes a deadly rollover accident. If you're in Illinois, there is always the risk of getting into a car crash where you have to hire a Chicago or Waukegan car accident lawyers to help you make your accident claim.
Fortunately, injury and loss of life have been reduced as modern vehicles are fitted with safety cages.
Also known as roll cages, these features were first introduced in NASCAR where high-speeds often lead to disastrous car crashes. A roll cage protects the driver by absorbing impact.
As auto manufacturers become even more interested in creating safer products, installing roll cages is becoming an increasingly practical solution to accident-induced deaths and disabilities.
When it comes down to improving a vehicle's performance, stability has to be the most important consideration. High speeds can cause vehicles to lose traction, putting the driver and passengers at risk.
Today, most vehicles feature sophisticated suspension systems that add comfort and protection to everyday use.
Little do many know that the very first suspension system was introduced in 1901 when French auto manufacturer Mors added dampers to their designs.
These were put to the test during the 1901 Paris-to-Berlin race when Henri Fournier outran his competitor using the "Mors Machine." Modern drivers should be grateful for such a simple yet effective feature that allows them to negotiate rough terrain.
From these examples, we can say that the development of auto safety is closely tied with the history of racing. And as the racing world recovers from the CoViD-19 pandemic, we can only imagine the new tools and features that will come our way as racing continues to thrive.