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August 15th, 2002

Soft Walls

I heard on TV this morning that there’s a new technology for car racing that could help save a lot of lives and prevent serious injuries (a la Jason Priestly): soft walls called SAFER (Steel and Foam Energy Reduction). I think it would be cool if they then lined the “soft walls” with pillows. I don’t think that’ll happen, though.

“Soft walls” is also the term for a Berkeley project to “prevent the use of commercial aircraft as weapons.” Again, pillows would help.

The article and papers above don’t say whether “soft walls” are the same as the “padded walls” I’ve come to know and love. Anyone know?

Posted in Cars

FROM: Paul
DATE: Thursday August 15, 2002 -- 11:16:33 am
If it's like the crash impact protection in Demolition Man, I'll be very happy.

FROM: Greg
DATE: Thursday August 15, 2002 -- 2:39:29 pm
We as a population need to use more Nerf products.

FROM: Dave Walls [E-Mail]
DATE: Thursday October 16, 2003 -- 8:33:19 pm
"Soft Walls" aren't like the padded walls of an insane asylum, but rather, regular walls that built to absorb hits and lessen the impact. It's hard to really explain, but they look and (supposedly) feel like you've hit a regular wall, but the damage to the driver and the car are greatly reduced.

I'll admit I've only seen shots of them on TV, but from what it looks like, they could do some good. Still, any crash involving an open wheel racing car is probably gonna be a nasty one. That's just the result of having a race car with just an engine and thin skin around the driver. A lot easier to crash, and with the high speeds, a lot more dangerous.

After saying all that, I would look into doing something. Some racing purists might hate the idea, but how many of the racing deaths could have been prevented with the soft wall technology? Again, I need to do more research myself, but doing nothing is stupid.

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