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Nurburgring crashes. To stop? Or not to stop?

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mustang crash

    
Stopping at the Nürburgring Nordschleife is not something I enjoy. I have my own reasons, based on my own experiences of crashing vehicles hitting my own parked vehicle, and good friends being hit by people incapable of slowing down for flashing yellow lights.

But whenever you see a typical Nürburgring crash video, one of the first responses will usually be something like:

"OMG?! Why didn't he stop to help?!"

NB: The CRASHED car should ALWAYS stop. No exceptions. Ever.

Take as an example, this video of a Mustang driver learning about counter-steer the very hardest way at the exit of Steilstrecke Kurve.


direct link

The first responses after I posted this to the facebook BTG page were, naturally, why didn't the camera car stop? Well before I get into details, let's look at why we stop in public sessions:

  • There are no fixed safety workers, therefore
  • It's a courtesy
  • And lest we forget, strictly speaking, it's illegal not to stop if you're 'part' of the accident

crash nurburgring vw touran
What would you do if you see this?

But stopping at the scene of an accident on a course like the Nordschleife is very hazardous:

There are both paid, professional marshalls out on circuit, and unpaid-but-trained volunteers. Unless it's very, very serious, most first-time visitors should really leave marshalling to the professionals, in my opinion. After all, what's the first rule of an emergency responder? Don't be the next casualty!

If you don't know what you're doing, you might make the situation worse!

Now I'm not excusing the dozens of MORONS who try to limp their fluid-spilling wrecks back to the carpark each year, BUT, would you want to stop in this traffic?


Rear view camera from the Mustang accident

Not so simple now, is it?

My advice (take at your own risk):

  • If you think you can help, then stop.
  • Drive PAST the accident and find somewhere safe to stop.
  • Phone the official number: 0800 0302 112
  • Get OVER the fence
  • Walk back to the accident with your flag or vest waving.
  • Keep walking past the crashed car and warn oncoming drivers about the crash.

Drive safe!

 

Comments   

 
#1 Cujo Racing 2014-02-25 21:25
The rear view camera reveals an awful lot, some close calls. Amazing how impatient some drivers are, given what they have just driven past. A very insightful follow up piece
 
 
#2 Joel 2014-02-27 02:09
Some good advice on how to stop safely there, Dale. I have stopped at a few accidents over the years, and now always carry a yellow flag and hi-vis vest in the car on track.

Perhaps we should also mention that Germany has a 'good Samaritan' law which obliges a bystander or passer-by to assist where necessary in cases of 'disaster or distress'. This may be as simple as notifying the office of the incident, or stopping to flag or administer first aid if it's necesssary and within your ability to do so. I believe that in some cases you may be prosecuted for not providing assistance when you could have, but also the law protects those giving assistance from prosecution if that help is unsuccessful.

That said, we are not all trained first-aiders, and as Dale said the first rule of first aid is to not put yourself in danger. At the very least you should pull over at the first safe opportunity and phone the office on the emergency number, and don't just assume that somebody else is taking care of it.

You also never know when you might be the crasher hoping for someone else to stop and come to your aid.
 
   

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