When it comes to visiting the track, we often overlook a giant part of the safety aspect. Sure roll cages, helmets, and maintenance is taken care of–but what happens when you actually go off track? Many of us rely on excessive run-off, used tire walls, hay bales, or hopes and prayers. While many tracks do allow for a decent amount of room around the edges of the track, there many tracks which feature none of the aforementioned “safety” walls. What do you get instead? A wall. A standard cement wall which will have zero give when you hit it. Car damage alone, your health and safety is heavily risked. Surely there is a better option, no?
There is. Impact Safety Systems Prolink Safety Barriers, a unique application which makes race tracks safer by providing a solution that benefits all, by offering a few unique advantages to safety at the track. First and foremost, they reduce injuries and damage to both cars and their drivers. The ISS barriers absorbs energy which slows vehicles down, and reduces catastrophic damage that would normally be sustained when impacting a solid wall. Additionally, the easy to deploy, move, and store capabilities of the ISS barrier allows for them to be reconfigured as needed. Want to change the track layout? You actually can! The ISS barrier design allows for easy adjustment and replacement as needed–saving money and time when there is a crash at the track.
Unlike normal “walls” of a track, the ProLink barriers are designed to yield on impact and cushion the vehicle reducing blunt force trauma. Going fast isn’t what kills you, it’s the stopping part that is responsible. A barrier that can slow that car down with more “give” will reduce injuries and should also help reduce casualties. The ProLink barrier will also “snake” when hit, helping to absorb and distribute high forces from a crash.
Perhaps it will take a few casualties of well known drivers before barriers are truly looked at as a “problem.” Prior to the Dale Earnhardt crash, the HANS device was rarely used–and although simple, it wasn’t identified as a necessity until that point. At what point will race safety equipment be so good, that we start looking at outside variables to reduce numbers even further? Should we even wait that long, if there is something we can do about it now? ISS Prolink thinks not, and they’ve already seen a large number of racing bodies and tracks adopting the new walls. Mainly the newer tracks that are opening and seeking the latest and greatest, but there is no reason that older tracks can’t be retrofitted. Tracks that don’t have the funds to line the whole track can still put the ISS ProLink in the sketchy or most common corners with crashes.
The new barrier walls come with something else unique, color coordination. With an increase in track presence comes the desire for the track to “look nice” for participants and spectators. ISS safety barriers can be had in many different colors, and with the modular design of the system, can be reorganized and swapped out as needed. Safer walls at the track can decrease damage and liability, leading to cheaper track day visits and a safer experience for everyone. Half of the equation for crashing is the equipment in your car, but the other half? The stuff you hit. Perhaps we’ll start seeing the push for safer barriers at tracks in the future–your life might depend on it.