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Does changing the configuration of a motor racing circuit make it safer?
  1. L Leonard1,
  2. A Lim1,
  3. T J S Chesser2,
  4. S A Norton2,
  5. J P Nolan1
  1. 1Royal United Hospital, Bath, UK
  2. 2North Bristol NHS Trust, Bristol, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 L Leonard
 Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG, UK;


Objectives: To assess the pattern of injuries presenting to a racing circuit medical centre in two three-year periods before and after two chicanes were built into the track.

Methods: Medical centre records were used to identify all patients assessed during the two time periods. Those referred to hospital were categorised by injury severity into three groups.

Results: The proportions of those attending the medical centre that were referred and admitted to hospital were the same in both periods (12–13% and 3% respectively). During the two study periods, the risk of a severe injury for a car driver decreased from 0.1% to 0.03% (p<0.05). For a motorcyclist, similar values were 0% and 0.2% (not significant).

Conclusions: Chicanes have improved the safety of the racing circuit for car drivers, reducing the risk of injury.

  • motor racing
  • design safety
  • motor vehicle trauma

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  • Competing interests: none declared