Reflecting on Risk

In the last 8 days professional motor sport has seen the deaths of Dan Wheldon and Marco Simoncelli. I have no doubt that there will be investigations into both crashes to see what, if anything, could be done better in terms of improving safety for the drivers and riders just as the death of Ayrton Senna led to a lot of changes in F1.

This does not however distract from the fact that motor racing is, and will always be, a sport with a high degree of risk. This should not however mean that it should be stopped or banned in any way as some of the more idiotic members of humanity are no doubt suggesting.

Risk is a part of life, as is judging whether or not the risk is an acceptable one. Some times you judge wrong and some times, no matter what you so, external factors will render your judgement irrelevant. The price for making a mistake will vary, but death is not often the card that fate deals. Regardless of outcome however all any of us can do is continue to make the calls as we see fit.

Remember those who have died but don’t stop doing something just because of an accident. That way lies madness.


  1. jameshigham says:

    This was also the case with the Reno air show and many other events, including downhill skiing. I broke my wrist doing luge. It happens. Should never be banned for those reasons. On he other hand, if the majority of major downhillers say they’re concerned, that’s another thing or if the majority of F1 drivers wee to express doubts.

  2. Demelza says:

    If you look at motor racing before 1980, it was rare to have a year without a fatality, and there were often many. Some were inexcusable: Roger Williamson’s at Zandvoort would, had it happened today, have doubtless ended in lawsuits as the standard of marshalling was shameful. Things today are immeasurably better, and rightly so.

    Risk and danger are parts of life, and as children grow up they need (at the appropriate stage) to learn how to do dangerous things safely. And as my sons are both in their teens, I can’t see why it’s always left to *me* to let off all the fireworks, I’d love to be able to stand and watch this year.

    • Misanthrope Girl says:

      Are kids even allowed to touch fireworks these days? Are the days of young children waving sparklers around like my brother and I did when we were both still in single figures over?

      We really are raising a generation with no idea of risk awareness it seems.