The 72nd year of NASCAR racing season is just about here! Thousands of fans will be attending the races and/or watching them on TV. NASCAR started in Daytona Beach, FL and now has races across the country at famous tracks like Daytona International (Daytona Beach, FL), Talladega Superspeedway (Talladega, AL), Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, VA) and Darlington Raceway (Darlington, S.C.). The majority of races happen in the southeastern part of the states where Classic Collision’s 34 auto body shop locations are located. Since we are in the midst of many of the races, we have noticed a few things that happen around a race event that you might find helpful, even if you aren’t attending the race.
First of all we noticed that there are more accidents day of and for about 5 days after a race. Attendees and viewers are very passionate about the race and might even get caught up in ‘living the dream’ of being a driver. This could cause them to get into their vehicle and emulate moves on city streets which can be reckless and cause an accident. These drivers can include attendees and viewers who watch it on TV! There have been a few studies done as to why the accident rate increases around race day and surprisingly, some statistics indicate that drivers may not even be aware they are driving more recklessly. How to counteract the chances of this happening? Wait to get behind the wheel until you have calmed down and are more relaxed. If you feel the urge to try something reckless, just don’t do it.
Another thing we have noticed is that many people come from out of town to attend the races. More people equal more traffic and visitors are not always familiar with the roads which can cause them to make last minute decisions to exit, change lanes or be distracted when they are looking at GPS. As an added protection you might want to avoid driving during the peak race commute times. Did you know that during the 10 month racing season there are 36 races? On average there are over 100,000 attendees per race which means over 3.6 million people attend the races (plus all the staff, pit crews, emergency teams, etc.). That’s a lot of traffic on the roads around race day!
What should you do if you are in an accident (even a minor one)?
- STAY AT THE SCENE Never drive away!
- CREATE AWARENESS If it’s dark outside, please, when safe to do so, set up flares, use a flashlight and keep your emergency flashers on to help others see you.
- CALL THE POLICE You need to make a proper report so claims can be filed with your insurance company. Vehicles should remain where they end up unless the vehicle is blocking traffic, then pull to the side of the road.
- TAKE PHOTOS If at all possible and if it is safe to do so, take photos of the vehicles and overall scene. You may need to refer to them later.