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Public Service Announcement: When at 2016 Mustang Week, Don't Become a Meme

2016 Mustang Week is upon us and for the tens of thousands of Ford Mustang owners headed to Myrtle Beach for the high performance fun, this is a quick reminder to be careful when showing off the power of your pony car – don’t be the person in another meme, gif or YouTube showing a Mustang driver losing control around a crowd.

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The odds are good that if you own a Ford Mustang, you are familiar with the various videos and memes on Facebook and the other social networks showing Mustang owners losing control while doing burnouts. In almost every case, the Mustang in these videos crashes and in some cases, they crash into crowds of people. While there are plenty of videos online showing vehicles of all makes and models attempting a burnout and crashing, it has become a popular trend to show off Mustang owners losing control while doing burnouts.

While these videos are used by fans of other brands to make fun of Mustang owners, it could be pointed out that the Mustang is statistically more likely to be involved in an accident since it is one of the longest running and bestselling American cars of all time. There are more Ford Mustangs on the road than any other rear wheel drive car, so they are statistically the most likely to be involved in a burnout crash.

In any case, the videos showing Ford Mustang owners failing to do a proper burnout have led to a great deal of ridicule online and in many cases, those videos and pictures originated from large automotive events. With the huge number of Ford Mustang owners in Myrtle Beach South Carolina – and those still planning to make their way to the coast for the big event – there are likely to be a few burnouts performed by Mustang owners in the next 5 days.

If you are a Ford Mustang owner doing a burnout at Mustang Week, be smart when flexing your American muscle.

Pointers for Doing Burnouts
While I should start by pointing out that doing a burnout with a Ford Mustang or any vehicle on a public street is against the law and doing a burnout around a crowd of people can be very dangerous. Burnouts should only be done in the safe confines of a race track or a designated burnout box area at an automotive event.

That being said, we all know that burnouts are going to happen at events like Mustang Week or the Mopar Nationals, so when doing a burnout, there are a few points to keep in mind in order to keep the crowd safe and to keep yourself from becoming an internet meme.

1. If you have to cross your hands – let off the gas. When doing a burnout, you should never be doing much turning, so if you have to work the wheel enough where you are crossing hand over hand, you are in trouble and need to let off the gas.

2. When you come out of water and hit hot, dry pavement, be prepared for the car to “kick”. Many burnouts in crowded areas occur at points where the spectators have poured water on the street in order to make the burnout a little easier for less powerful vehicles. The issue with this is that when you roll forward out of that water and your hot, sticky tires hit hot, sticky pavement, a quick imbalance in traction from side to side can cause the car to suddenly kick to one side. It might look nice to keep smoking the tires with the back end hanging out a bit, but in the videos showing Mustangs crashing – it is often a situation like this.

3. Speed kills, and it doesn’t improve a burnout. It seems that a great many videos showing all sorts of vehicles crashing at the end of a burnout happen as the car is attempting to speed off while still smoking the tires. As a car picks up speed, there is less actual tire spinning, so this tends to create less smoke than a stationary burnout. Also, as a car picks up speed, any problems encountered have a far greater chance of resulting in massive damage to the car, so keep the car in one place when doing your burnout.

4. Start Straight – Stay Straight. I have seen countless videos of people pulling out of a parking lot onto a busy road, gunning it, whipping the back end out, losing control and crashing into people or other vehicles. This isn’t just a Mustang thing, as I’ve seen plenty of videos with Camaros, GTOs and all sorts of trucks running into this issue. If your car needs to have the back end tossed out to get the tires spinning, do us all a favor and leave the burnouts to the people with high performance cars. Burnouts should start straight and stay straight, and following that simple guideline would have prevented a great many of the failed burnout memes and videos online from being created in the first place.

5. When in doubt, lift. If at any point during your burnout you are concerned about the direction of your vehicle, vehicles around you or people in the crowd, end the burnout. You can always do another burnout, unless you crash into another car or a crowd. Be smart out there.

Remember, it is better to do a short, smokey burnout and to safely drive away than to try to do a monster rolling burnout that results in damaged cars and injured people.

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Mortimer Duke (not verified)    July 24, 2016 - 5:58PM

It's too bad so many often place spectators and other motorists in harm's way since Mustang hoons plowing into abutments usually is merely Charles Darwin and natural selection trying to weed out the nimrods.

Then again, one also may reasonably assert that placing one's self in a position where Mustang hoons are likely to ply their trade is, in itself, begging for a reckoning.

The best place for someone to be with his Mustang during Myrtle Beach Mustang Week probably is somewhere else.