Oops: How not to drive Pikes Peak

A frequent Pied Type visitor, ImaLibertarian, sent me this video from Sunday’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb. (Pikes Peak is 14,115 ft.) The race is run every year, and every year I marvel that this doesn’t happen to everybody.

This year for the first time the road was paved all the way to the top, guaranteeing faster speeds. See what speed on that road can do to you? Even when you crawl, as I have, you have visions like this in the back of your mind — if not the front.

Officials weren’t trying to make the road faster or more dangerous. The paving was the result of environmental concerns — tons of gravel washing off the road every year into alpine ponds and wetlands and covering the forest floor to an average depth of two to four feet. And although you wouldn’t know it from this video, the road is now probably safer to drive.

As for the scary no-guard-rails thing — I read somewhere that the casual driver should just tell himself or herself that there’s no more likelihood of driving off the side of that road than any other road. Somehow that doesn’t reassure me.

And yes, the car’s two occupants survived.

_____________________

*See also “More video of Foley’s crash on Pikes Peak.”



Categories: Sports, video content

14 replies

  1. Saw this on the news a bit ago. Absolutely shocked that both passengers made it out with only minor injuries.

  2. It’s amazing what crazy people can survive. The YouTube blurb says there was an accident at the same spot last year, and that these guys “weren’t quite as lucky” as that guy. WTF?!?! 😯

  3. Even though air bags are prohibited by every professional and nearly every amateur racing franchise, nobody seems to ask why. It’s because good drivers are valuable commodities.

    • Presumably then, these guys had no airbags (actually, it never occurred to me that they did), just a great restraint system and a bullet-proof roll cage. One of them said after seeing this video, he couldn’t believe he was still alive. Neither can anyone else. Me, I’d take the hint and retire from racing. His nine lives have got to be down to about .2 at this point.

  4. I guess for some, a paved road means you can take even greater risks.

    • Now that you mention it, I withdraw my statement above. Paving this road probably didn’t make it any safer; it just gives a dangerous illusion of safety. If the road is all gravel, you don’t have the potential danger of losing control if you drop a wheel from the pavement onto a loose gravel shoulder. In the video, however, it just looks like the driver was going too fast.

  5. I thought of you when I saw this on TV. This one is way better than last year’s crash! (but they had the new pavement)

  6. One thing I remember about the last time we drove up and down the road there were the hot brakes! I can’t imagine anything but a crawl on that road. They should rename it to ‘Oh my God’ road! Wait…I think we already have one of those! LOL

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  1. More video of Foley’s crash on Pikes Peak « Pied Type

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