Paul Walker's Death Should Serve as a Stark Reminder to Street Racers

Paul Walker’s death has spawned an endless stream of memorials across the various social media networks but it is important that those street racers who idolized Walker and molded their lives around the street racing culture take this as a bit of a wakeup call.

Let me start by saying that I am not looking to offer up a piece chastising street racers in light of Paul Walker’s death. I admit that I’ve done plenty of street racing in my days so it would be hypocritical for me to criticize other street racers. This isn’t about telling people not to street race – this is about reminding everyone out there who occasionally opens up their vehicle outside of a closed circuit that there is a very real possibility of losing your life should things go wrong.


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As Porsche notes in its owner's manual, you can't overcome the laws of physics. Doesn't take much to launch a sports car into trouble and combined with a high rate of speed it's a formula for disaster. Keep the racing to the tracks - not local streets. Too much can go wrong in a split second.
Keith makes an important point, but there is more. First, there are no poles or trees to hit at racetracks. There are barriers that help save your life. More importantly, this was a very, very wealthy 40 year old man. WTF is he doing getting his yayas out on public, or even private property? Rent some track time, join a club, go to a Skip Barber school, join a race series, do all of that. 40 year olds are middle aged. That is not a time to be doing stuff expected of a 19 year old. There is no excuse for nearly "old" rich guys who die in road racing, or road speeding or whatever you call it. That it was performance car makes it worse, not better in my opinion. The only good in this is that nobody innocent got killed.
There is a very important lesson in this event that I learned as a teenager. I received great advice from a professional (though not very succesful) race driver who was a friend of the family. Around the time I got my drivers license, he said to me, "There are two ways to get into a single-car accident. You can exceed the capability of the car, or you can exceed the capability of the driver." A very simple statement, but thinking about it, and keeping it in mind has protected me and my cars for decades. Forgetting it once cost me a car, but left me fortunately unscathed.