NASCAR cars have become safer in recent years, but they have not always been that way. Some of the worst NASCAR crashes came at times before safety precautions were made, and many of them have had deadly results. Here’s a look at some of the worst NASCAR crashes that have ever occurred.
It is important to understand that many of the worst NASCAR crashes have occurred because of the high speeds. In fact, a slight error by a driver can cause a car wreck during a race, and it can make it difficult to get cars away from a crash. Sometimes injuries can result to drivers, but in the case of the worst NASCAR crashes even worse things have happened.
The first of the worst NASCAR crashes came on May 12, 2000, when Adam Petty was driving and his throttle stuck. He lost control of his car and crashed head on at one hundred miles per hour, dying as a result.
Two months after Adam Petty’s death Kenny Irwin died in a July 7 crash. A kill switch feature on the steering wheel of NASCAR cars was installed into the cars as a result in order to keep crashes as terrible as the ones of Petty and Irwin to be less likely to occur. However, on October 13 of the same year Craftsman Truck Series driver Tony Roper died in a crash.
While these have been some of the worst NASCAR crashes in history, the most significant of the worst NASCAR crashes came at the 2001 Daytona 500. Racing legend Dale Earnhardt Sr. died in a crash near the end of the race. The car did not flip over or catch fire, and all that happened was that Ken Shrader drove into the passenger door of Earnhardt’s car after a slip by Sterling Marlin. This prompted Earnhardt’s car to slam into the track wall at a high speed.
With Earnhardt’s incredible impact on the sport that became one of the worst NASCAR crashes, if not the worst, in history. This prompted many different changes in NASCAR safety. New seat belt and seat restraint methods have been used in recent years so that drivers can be safer and can be still and secure during crashes. Also, technologies have changed so that the frames of cars can be more secure and more likely to absorb the impact of a crash.
While the drivers who died in the worst NASCAR crashes can’t be brought back, deaths don’t have to occur in the future. With the many safety advancements made over the last few years in NASCAR there will be less of a chance that any other crashes could end up becoming one of the worst NASCAR crashes ever occurred.