9 Elements of Danger

Thursday 23rd May 2019

When it comes to motorsports, it is the element of danger that many spectators enjoy. Watching the danger is one thing, becoming immersed in it is another and well, a less attractive prospect altogether. 

Motorsports events have two key considerations; the safety of those participating and the safety of those in the audience. Approaching these categories individually is key in the organisation of a safely run motorsport event.

Rule #1. Motorsports events are dangerous

Anything that involves speeds of up to 200 mph is going to be dangerous. The drivers that participate are constantly in danger however this is a prerequisite – these guys know what they are signing up for.

Spectator safety is a separate matter and should be considered in every event. Although there is a duty of care to act with caution placed on the individuals that attend, organisers should take all reasonable precaution to establish safe areas for spectators. The threat of injury will never completely disappear, but there must be a proactive effort to minimise this risk.

Rule #2. You can’t predict your audience

There will be enthusiasts and regulars who know exactly what to expect.

There will also be groups.

Each causes their own set of problems. Enthusiasts can be stubborn and uncompromising. The general public attendees can cause issues due to not understanding what happens at motorsports events.

It is imperative to understand your audience and plan for all eventualities.

Rule #3. You get what you pay for

Motorsports events rely heavily on the participation of volunteers but with a high turnover and a low budget, performance expectations are understandably low and those volunteering cannot necessarily be fully relied on.

Rule #4. Remember the press

The press can be a law unto themselves, venturing into prohibited areas in order to gain the best vantage point. Regardless of whether they tell you it’s their risk – it isn’t their call to make.

Rule #5. Know who’s responsible

All motorsports events should have experienced, qualified and insured safety staff.

These things come at a cost but they should be treated as a high priority when it comes to budgeting.

Rule #6. Don’t underestimate the need for training

The training of marshals for motorsports events is regrettably not a high priority.   At best, the marshals must understand safety and how to act to keep spectators safe. 

Rule #7. Plan your event

Event Management Planning is key for all events when it comes to providing a safe environment for all involved.

Any large event like these needs proper Event Management Plans in place.

Rule #8. Manage the crowd

Thousands of people plus vehicles at high speeds results in high risk. Specialist consultancies that deal in crowd management exist for a reason.

Rule #9. Risk assessments are key

Motorsports events need to be treated like any other mass gathering event in this respect, and proper risk assessments need to be carried out. Obviously, these events present greater and very particular risks and these need to be carefully managed too. 

Risk assessments are key to any type of event and it's important they're done properly and by competent people.

In Summary

Motorsports events are essentially mass gatherings and should be coordinated in a way that reflects the danger that potentially exists.

Whilst the danger cannot be fully eliminated, organisers should work to reduce risks and act to keep all spectators as reasonably safe as possible.

You can visit our website to learn more. Click here to learn more about our SEF Ambassadors and the Sean Edwards Foundation. We have many initiatives related to safety on and off the track. If you can

help support our organisation by making a small donation it would be greatly received. As always,

#safetyfirst !!


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