How quickly can you exit your race car? What if it’s upside-down?

https://www.youtube.com/embed/VvoGaoeecjo

NASA racer Mark Hunter recently shared his in-car video from Roebling Road, where his Mustang went upside-down at the exit of Turn 3.

From his description:

I want to share this experience with everyone so that they may become safer while enjoying racing, time trials, or HPDE.

My safety equipment did its job, and I escaped without injury (other than my pride). The exit took way too long, but I was out of the car before the emergency vehicles and crew arrived.

Among the lessons that he shares, practice your exit drills. Can you disconnect your head-and-neck restraint while wearing gloves?

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
4/4/23 12:18 p.m.

Watching that made me rethink where I keep certain items–like a window breaker–in my daily.

It also made me realize that I should have a plan in case I get in an accident or rollover with my daughter in the car.

Toyman!
Toyman! MegaDork
4/4/23 1:45 p.m.

The last time I climbed behind the wheel of the Lemons B210, I decided it would not be fast enough and returned to the pits. The car is built for smaller people than I. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/4/23 2:23 p.m.

Interesting how the helmet w/ HANS wouldn't fit through the slightly crushed window opening. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/23 2:53 p.m.

In reply to Colin Wood :

Seriously, yeah, what if? And what if your driver’s door is only up against something? What’s your plan then? 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/4/23 2:56 p.m.

And some related reading: Advice to the wise: How to always be mindful of safety.

I had zero plans of going ass over teakettle that day. And I still can’t tell you how many times we rolled. It might have been three-quarters, it might have been more.

I can recall the view, though: green, blue, green, blue, repeat. 

The big take-home is that once the earth stopping spinning, we didn’t have an exit plan. 

Rodan
Rodan SuperDork
4/4/23 3:49 p.m.

In reply to Ian F (Forum Supporter) :

An L/XL helmet won't fit through a 6th gen Camaro window opening when it's not crushed... 

This is a good reminder to practice egress, and to have a plan.  

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/5/23 9:30 a.m.

So this explains Terry's BookFace post. 

The safety aspect, along with money and time, is why I don't track anymore. 

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
4/6/23 5:09 p.m.

In reply to Rodan :

I found this out about 5 years ago. I was instructing at a HPDE and after getting out of the pass. seat I closed the door and then went to place my helmet on the seat.  I figured that I wasn't going to use it again until I rode in this Camaro again. 

 

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
4/6/23 5:09 p.m.

In reply to Rodan :

I found this out about 5 years ago. I was instructing at a HPDE and after getting out of the pass. seat I closed the door and then went to place my helmet on the seat.  I figured that I wasn't going to use it again until I rode in this Camaro again. 

 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
4/7/23 9:27 a.m.

In reply to jimbbski :

Right now, I see a photo of my old Rabbit GTI on the right of this window. You remember how much bigger side windows used to be. 

frenchyd
frenchyd MegaDork
4/7/23 9:31 a.m.

In reply to David S. Wallens :

We teach our kids how to kick out the front windshield.  That's the biggest opening in car truck or bus. 
 If you've ever tried it, it's surprisingly easy with the adrenaline  following an accident.  

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
4/7/23 11:53 a.m.

My base plan is to go out the passenger side window as I have no passenger set or door net to deal with. I've timed it and can do this in 1.8 seconds vs 3.2 seconds to go out the drivers side

I've got  additional scenarios:

The car tipped on it's side: there is a bar that runs between the lower dash bar of the cage that goes straight down to the trans tunnel. With the car turned 90 degrees that becomes a step to exit the car.

The car on it's roof: the fastest would be to drop out of the seat and shimmy out the passenger side window. The drivers side is less easy as the window net drops down so it would be hanging in the way. I've run the drill in my head on the quickest way to get out.

I always practice exits either in the dark garage or my eyes closed. 

codrus (Forum Supporter)
codrus (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
4/7/23 12:34 p.m.
Tom1200 said:

My base plan is to go out the passenger side window as I have no passenger set or door net to deal with. I've timed it and can do this in 1.8 seconds vs 3.2 seconds to go out the drivers side

Why no center net?

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 UberDork
4/7/23 1:23 p.m.
codrus (Forum Supporter) said:
Tom1200 said:

My base plan is to go out the passenger side window as I have no passenger seat or door net to deal with. I've timed it and can do this in 1.8 seconds vs 3.2 seconds to go out the drivers side

Why no center net?

 

Center instantly falls away.....................drivers side takes a bit longer to do. You can undo everything and bail out of the car in one fluid motion.

I should clarify............there was a provision for a passenger side door net as we once intended to run a tarmac rally. I took out all the passenger side gear such as the net, seat and belts.

I only mentioned this because many people here run street legal track cars and so I thought it appropriate to mention it.

dean1484
dean1484 MegaDork
4/8/23 12:22 p.m.
David S. Wallens said:

I can recall the view, though: green, blue, green, blue, repeat. 

I remember that. Time also slows down. I remember thinking to my self that it was interesting/funny to see the sky and the grass in the wrong place.  Also the silence when the car is in the air was a bit weird.  Seemed like many seconds but was in reality at most a second. Oh and landing sucks.
 

A side bar to this is you can hit things with your knees arms hands that are normally out of reach. It is like you magically become the stretch-arm-strong toy. 

bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter)
bearmtnmartin (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
4/8/23 8:16 p.m.

I retrieved a guy in a submerged car once because he panicked and could not release his belt. So he drowned. Other passengers also tried and failed. Took me about a second and he popped right out but I was ten minutes too late. I assume they were all too panicked to accomplish a simple task. Also they stopped trying. 

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