The concept of safety in Indy Car racing is an oxymoron at first glance. High school students did not have to watch driver education movies that portrayed the dangers of parallel parking. They had to watch the crash results of high speed driving. Despite this fact, there is still ways to make Indy Car racing safer for the drivers while retaining the excitement for the fans.
The IndyCar Series management announced plans to modify the IndyCars for better driver protection. One proposal is three inches of foam around the driver in the cockpit with one inch of foam underneath the seat. A metal plate would be installed to the right of the cockpit. All these features are aimed at reducing the force of impact on the driver when sudden impact occurs between the car and the outside wall or another car. One driver suggested better head protection by covering the open cockpit with a clear dome similar to a fighter jet’s cockpit.
Another area of improvement is communications between the drivers and the managers. The recent death of Dan Wheldon at the season’s last race in Las Vegas prompted management to listen to driver’s safety concerns and complaints about safety.