Auto-related hobbies are generally followed by people who are intensely passionate about them. There are entire cable channels devoted to cars and motorcycles, from classics to rat-rod rebuilds. Any given weekend you’ll be able to find a car show or meetup where people are showing off their classic Datsun Z cars, German imports, or classic American hot rods.
Auto Racing Injuries
Auto racing and other facets of the automotive industry can be dangerous. Even the safest track or auto-cross day carries with it the risk of fire, collision, or rolling. Most drivers follow safety practices such as installing roll cages in their cars, wearing helmets, and donning fire-safe protective suits, gloves, and shoes, but you can still get injured while racing or working on cars. Anytime you mix moving parts, heavy equipment, and humans, you have a real risk for disability or serious injury.
You can find a lot of information on the Internet concerning racing injuries by doing a local online search like car accident attorney Springfield MO or auto accident injuries.
Rally Racing as a Quadriplegic
That doesn’t mean you have to stop racing just because you get in an accident on the track. Many people continue pursuing their love of all things automotive despite being disabled, either by an automotive accident or other cause. One Missouri man has determined that he’s not going to let being a quadriplegic stop him from rally racing. Chris Hrabik was injured in a car accident not related to racing when he was 18 years old.
He has some use of his right hand, but his left is completely unusable. So he makes modifications in his shop, taping tools to his left hand and creating his own specific pieces of equipment so he can still fix and race cars. His 1997 Subaru Impreza is his rally car, and he has modifications–some industry standard, and some of his own–so that he can fit his wheelchair in the car if he needs it. Rally racing is a dangerous sport in which drivers race down an unpredictable dirt or gravel road and try to beat the other drivers’ times.
It’s so dangerous that spectators sometimes have to be kept away from the road in certain places where skidding, rollovers, or driving off the road are common.
Modifications for Racing
But a disability won’t stop a true car aficionado from driving, building, and racing cars. Modifications in all vehicles have come a long way so that disabled people can still get around, and those same modifications can be made in rally, autocross, and track racing cars. Even drift cars have some applications that allow disabled people to partake in their favorite sport.
It’s common for paraplegics to use hand controls for the brake, gas, and clutch of a race car. The setup is similar to that of a motorcycle or bicycle. More advanced modifications might include voice controls. Some people use pedal extenders to help them reach the pedals with short or amputated legs, and others have back braces that assist in stabilizing their backs while sitting in the safety-promoting but uncomfortable racing seats.
If you’ve been disabled due to an injury in the automotive industry, or are disabled and still want to continue building, racing, and modifying cars, advances in the technology of race cars will allow you to continue working on your hobby. You don’t need to watch from the sidelines if you’re determined to continue racing and working on your favorite cars.
Teresa Stewart is a freelance writer and car enthusiast who frequently researches car accident claims. If you would like to learn more about the devastating effects of auto accident injuries view this video by car accident attorney Springfield MO based which provides details on how an accident attorney can help you to recover physically and financially.
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