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View Full Version : How does open track liability work?


Blown96Snake
01-08-2003, 03:48 PM
Basically I am thinking what if......

If I were to lose control of my car and hit someone else, could they sue me or is there a waiver signed to release me from any of my actions?

Is open tracking a do-it-at-your-own-risk sport leaving everyone blameless?

Also, John Pearson or anyone that has organized a track event for SCMC, is there a disclaimer that protects the participants or just the track and the club?

Thanks for all your input!

Dave

sn8kbit
01-08-2003, 05:22 PM
here's my understanding, and i may be way off....

open tracking is an "at your own risk" event. some auto insurance companies will cover an individual incident at a non-timed driving event. but you better believe you'll be dropped at renewal time.

as far as a two car incident, i would think there'd be a gentleman's agreement between the two. losing car pays. at least i'd feel that much responsibility anyway. after all, the car responds to driver input, so ultimately, in my opnion, everything falls back on the driver.

track waivers cover anything that could be brought back on the track. as far as insurance goes for clubs and tracks, it's more for protection for both, not for the drivers.

anyone, feel free to jump in and correct as necessary....;)

kevin
01-08-2003, 05:36 PM
as steve stated. everyone drives at their own risk.

here's the key i think. these are not races. no one should be close enough to damage anyone else. you put your car in a wall - the cost is yours. you put your car into someone else or you cause them to hit you - i think the cost for all damage is your's. as steve said - a gentlemans (or womans) implied agreement.

a friend invited me to go snowmobiling (no one on theis board) they said if you can't pay for damages then don't go riding. same thing here. if you can't afford to lose your car then you better be careful (you can do this and still have fun).

there are those of us who've been doing this awhile a sometimes drive each others tails. generally speaking, if you see this it's cause they know each other very well, have confidence in each others abilities, and have been on the track together before.

blame for an incident would be evaluated on the circumstances but the one at fault should expect to cover damages.

remember OPEN TRACK EVENTS ARE NOT RACING

hope this helps

Big Daddy
01-08-2003, 05:42 PM
Well when I hit the tire barrier by turn 3 at Road Atlanta last year my Insurance covered it and didn't drop me. Then I also had an incident where an SUV drown my car driving through a puddle and caused me to suck water into my engine. BOOM went the engine and the insurance once again covered me and they still haven't dropped me.....BUT MY RATES WENT UP!! :D ;)

STU
01-08-2003, 06:04 PM
Everyone signs waivers but it is my understanding you can not actually sign off on liability.....Meaning if you do something and injure someone else you are libel.

Same with the track owners....I would think if you were on track and a bridge fell on you or a service truck pulled into your path and they were at fault (just an example) then they should still be libel.

Now if you run into a cement wall...your on your own. :D

Blown96Snake
01-08-2003, 09:48 PM
Thanks for the information. I don't feel like I am someone who would go out and drive my car 10/10s or even 8/10s on track, bc *I need to drive the car home* ;)

I also don't feel like I would push it and tail someone real closely, even if I knew the person well. It just isn't worth the risk. Its kinda the same reason I don't drive 15 over the speed limit in Boone, I know it will bite me in the butt sooner or later.

I just wish there was some assurance that nothing would happen, but then again, I wish there was some assurance that I would be a millionaire and I could buld a track in the back yard, but I guess life is full of insurance worthy stuff like this.

I just don't want something bad to happen. I talked with Chris Cobetto as NASA today and he told me that most companies will buy into the fact that it is a drivers education school and not RACING.

To me, its better than street racing and a whole lot safer!

Later

David

97whitevert
01-08-2003, 10:09 PM
Originally posted by Blown96Snake
......
To me, its better than street racing and a whole lot safer!

Later

David
you said it all right there Dave!:thumbsup:

cobrabitn
01-09-2003, 12:37 PM
Dave,

The insurance is to protect the club, its officers, and the track. it is also there in case you get injured and will cover a portion of that too. It will also cover damaged property to the track if the club causes it (in essence, a participant).

Stop worrying over hitting someone. you keep that up and you may just do it. Remember, we are not running wheel to wheel. There are a limited number of tire barriers, mostly everyone will run off in the grassy areas. Secondly. passing is only allowed in the straights and not in the turns. Lastly, no passing except in designated areas and only when a signal is given. Remember, if you see someone in your mirrors then it's time to let them go around you and forget your pride. ;)

Hope that clears it up:thumbsup:

Blown96Snake
01-09-2003, 02:18 PM
;)

I'm not the one worried about it! I feel comfortable in my driving...at least enough to know what not to do. :D

I also don't feel that I would put myself into a situation like that unless there was to be a mechanical failure...but I have/will do all I can to make sure that doesn't happen.

Just trying to get the worst case scenario so I wouldn't be surprised. In all likelyhood, this :bump: won't happen anyway.

Chris Cobetto said that NASA has only had 4 serious wrecks in the last 4 or 5 years, so it doesn't happen often.

Its roughly 65 degrees in Carthage today....I wish I was at CMP:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

Dave

Cobra-R
01-09-2003, 05:15 PM
If I remember right, part of the waiver that we sign is that we release "other" drivers as well as the track and event sponsor of liability. Like mentioned above, I do believe there are some rights that cannot be technically waived such as blatant acts of stupidity. ;)
I agree with others, I would feel some obligation if I caused a problem on the track, but I don't know how sure I would be that all my fellow drivers would feel the same way if it was the other way around. Hopefully we will never find out. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

STU
01-09-2003, 09:35 PM
Here is an example that really happened 3 years ago when I was running at Lowe's during a MCA event. While we were on track there were workers preforming mainteance on the fence surrounding the track. They were clipping off pieces of the fence wire and letting some of them fall on the track. A number of people had tires ruined from wire stuck in their tires. The speedway had replacement tires next day aired and replaced the tires for those who had the damage. The speedway is just lucky no one had a blow out while running at speed on track.

Cobra-R
01-09-2003, 10:03 PM
Originally posted by STU
Here is an example that really happened 3 years ago when I was running at Lowe's during a MCA event. While we were on track there were workers preforming mainteance on the fence surrounding the track. They were clipping off pieces of the fence wire and letting some of them fall on the track. A number of people had tires ruined from wire stuck in their tires. The speedway had replacement tires next day aired and replaced the tires for those who had the damage. The speedway is just lucky no one had a blow out while running at speed on track.

It would be safe to file that under "blatant acts of stupidity"

justagt
01-10-2003, 08:49 AM
STU - I was there for that too. In fact, that is where Shugg and I met and I am still kicking myself for that. :D

As far as these schools go, things can happen, but with the exception of getting a couple of wheels off or spinning out, bit things are rare. Not listening to someone with experience, not thinking about what you are doing, not watching your mirrors and being a courteous driver to faster cars, not preparing your car, and just pushing too hard are what seems to cause most 'incidents'. BUT it isn't something to sit around and dwell on. I still say a well-run event with good students is safer than driving in rush hour traffic with a bunch of idiots on their phones.

But if you end up hitting someone, don't let it be me........ since mine is not a street car, I hit back. ;)

STU
01-10-2003, 07:51 PM
Originally posted by justagt
STU - I was there for that too. In fact, that is where Shugg and I met and I am still kicking myself for that. :D


Cool! I think I drove on the first day (Wednesday) if I remember right. Drove in the intermediate group and remember chasing around a Red mustang with black wheels (I think)

I remember it rained the next day (or did it rain Friday?) anyway, we chose a good day.

What were you driving there?