Five things you need to know about motorsport safety

McLaren Whether you are trying motorsport for the first time or getting into something new, it is the case that you will need to make your safety a priority.

All forms of motorsport comes with inherent risks, and while these can never be entirely eliminated, they can be minimised by learning as much as you can about the relevant equipment and the regulations governing the sport you are about to get involved in. Here are five things that you need to know about motorsport safety.

1. The safety rules for each motorsport are different
If you have taken part in a motorsport in the past you might believe that you have a good understanding of the kind of safety regulations to expect. Too many people who get involved in a new motorsport don’t have a thorough understanding of the rules surrounding it. This is not a good idea – firstly, you can be stopped from competing if your car does not conform to the correct standard, but worse you can be putting yourself and others in danger.

Before you get involved in any kind of motorsport it is vital that you thoroughly study the rules and understand the safety requirements that you need to follow. Failing to do so can put you in a very dangerous situation.

2. Car fire extinguishers need regular servicing
One of the most important aspects of motorsport safety is having a high quality car fire extinguisher to hand. While no-one wants to imagine that they will be involved in a car fire on the track, the rigours of motorsports can cause engines to overheat to the extent that they catch fire – it’s always better to have one if you need it.

However, it’s also important to point out that if you have a car fire extinguisher, it needs to be serviced on a regular basis. It is recommended that both plumbed-in and hand-held fire extinguishers are serviced every two years to ensure that they are still in excellent working condition and are filled. If you have had your extinguisher or fire suppression system for a while, it is a good idea to have it serviced as soon as possible.

3. The first thing to invest in is a good helmet
When you want to get into motorsport you need to start buying your own safety equipment. And given that many events will provide you with loaned racing helmets it can feel like a waste to put money into buying one. However, it is certainly something that you should invest in as soon as possible when you get serious about motorsport.

Having your own helmet ensures that it is perfectly fitted for your head so that it both protects you and feels entirely comfortable during a competition. It’s surprising how much feeling comfortable can improve your performance, so this can make a big difference.

4. Listen to the safety briefing before every event
No matter if you have been to a motorsport event in the past or you have attended so many safety briefings you have lost count, it is still essential that you should listen carefully to each safety briefing. This is the time when the organisers will go through all of the major safety details with you and lay down the rules for your time out on the track.

Never assume that you already know it all – each motorsport can have very different rules and you need to be aware of them.

5. Buy the best safety equipment you can afford
Of course if you want to take part in motorsport you will need to start buying your own safety equipment. This comes both in the form of the clothing that you wear such as gloves, boots, helmet and racing suit, but also in the upgrades that you buy for your car.

There are a number of options available to you, and while there may be the chance to buy cheaper safety equipment, ultimately you are only cheating yourself. You need to take your safety seriously in motorsport, so always buy the best equipment that you can afford. The last thing you want is to be in a dangerous situation simply because you didn’t spend a little more money.

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