Racecar Driver's Death Prompts Safety Improvements

December 2, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. scrutiny (n.) [skroot-n-ee] – the act of carefully examining or investigating something
     Example: The suspects are under scrutiny because of their past records. 

2. tragic (adj.) [traj-ik]– an exaggerated way to describe something very bad or unfortunate (usually death)
     Example: The economic crisis has a tragic effect on small businesses.

3. bring into light (idiom) [bring] [in-too; -tuh] [lahyt]  – to make clear or to discover
     Example: The evidence brings into light what really happened in the accident.

4. think out of the box (phrase)  [thingk] [out] [uhv, ov; uhv] [thuh] [boks]– to think differently or have non-traditional ideas
     Example: The best inventions are often made by people who think out of the box.     

5. pre-emptive (adj.) [pree-emp-tiv] – describes a measure done to prevent something from happening
     Example: Pre-emptive measures can prevent further damage in the environment.   

Read the text below.

Safety measures in car races are again put under scrutiny after another driver lost his life in a tragic race accident last October 16.

Two-time champion Dan Wheldon died in a multiple car crash that happened at the 2011 IndyCar World Championships in Las Vegas. To veteran Formula One driver Jackie Stewart, the incident must lead to a re-evaluation of motorsport safety to prevent another similar accident from happening.

Stewart, who started as an IndyCar driver, brings into light some concerns about race track size and whether drivers of varying experience should race together. Seventy two year-old Stewart says a lot has improved in motorsport safety since his time in the 1960s to 1970s. However, cars travelling at speeds of more than 200 miles per hour still make motorsports in itself dangerous. No number of measures can guarantee 100% safety.

With the availability of modern technology and materials, Stewart believes further safety improvements can be made possible. All it takes, he adds, is to think out of the box to come up with pre-emptive solutions rather than corrective measures.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         What do you think can be done to prevent accidents in extreme sports?
·         Who do you think is responsible if an athlete gets into an accident?

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people enjoy car racing?
·         If you had the chance, would you try car racing? Why or why not?

December 2, 2011