We often take for granted drag strip safety, but the truth is that the hot areas around a start line can be extremely dangerous, with many moving vehicles and lots of distractions. This near-accident shows how it can go wrong very quickly!
At an event at Byron Dragway in Illinois, a crewman is standing next to a dragster waiting to commence its burnout. It appears the driver gets a signal that it is okay to begin and he stands on the pedal, with the crewman still in front of one of the big rear tyres.
Thankfully some quick reflexes keep the crewman from serious injury, but this could have ended up a very bad situation.
It is a timely reminder to racers to talk with crew members and to come up with a system that allows your team to communicate and be aware of each other, even in the noisy and distracting environment of a drag strip start line. And of course, unless absolutely necessary, don’t be touching or in front of a vehicle.
The driver here was unaware the crew member was standing next to him because he has limited sight out of the cockpit and muffled hearing due to the engine running and wearing a helmet. The crew member could have avoided this situation by making sure he was visible to the driver, and not being directly in front of the tyres unless he was performing an essential task on the motor.
Check out the crazy video below.