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How Racing Changed the Way We See On-Road Safety

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The world of racing isn't only good for providing a source of entertainment to millions around the globe. Ever since it became an official sport, racing has introduced a number of innovations along the lines of on-road safety.

Sure enough, developments over the years have impacted the world of motoring by introducing better ways of keeping passengers and drivers safe, not only on the race track but also on the interstate.

Come to think of it, the world of racing has improved safety altogether, all thanks to these crucial innovations:

All-wheel drive

In the past, driving uphill had been considered as an all-too-dangerous part of motoring. Cars in the past weren't specifically built for steep inclines, which would go on to explain the peril that awaited passengers and drivers as they made the climb. The same could be said of driving on snow, mud, and loose dirt.

But since the 1980s, the introduction of the Audi Quattro revolutionized the functionality of many commercial cars that came after it. Intended to be a World Rally vehicle, the Quattro's four-wheel technology set the tone for car manufacturers to supply the market with effective off-roading machines. We haven't looked back since then.

Carbon fiber

As far as safety is concerned, many car manufacturers opt to build durable products that are both safe and light enough to achieve optimum maneuverability. Sure enough, the cars of yesteryear were built primarily for the purpose of providing protection. Performance had to take a backseat if it meant reducing the number of on-road injuries.

With the introduction of carbon fiber as an important feature of many Formula One race cars back in the day, the market for commercial vehicles soon adopted bodies made from the material. Aside from being lightweight, it also proved resilient especially during top speeds, something that conventional materials before were unable to do.

Rearview mirrors

Some might not know this, but rearview mirrors were actually an invention that was first introduced in the Indy 500. Back then, people used to take quick glances behind to check for traffic. This would also explain why many racing events were joined by pairs consisting of a driver and a riding mechanic.

Eventually, the rearview mirror eliminated the need for a mechanic as it allows the driver to check for traffic coming from behind. The invention proved to be beneficial as it saved countless lives ever since it was fully adopted for commercial use in 1914.

Seatbelts

Who could have thought that a simple strap could help prevent spinal cord injury complications, severe head trauma, and a possible personal injury lawsuit?

First used as safety devices for race cars, this simple yet effective technology has become a modern staple in the world of motoring. So much so that governments have crafted laws that made it illegal for people not to wear seatbelts when operating a vehicle.

We sure have race cars to thank a lot for when it comes to modern-day cars. For sure, without them, we wouldn't have the many safety features that protect us every time we get behind the wheel.

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