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This past weekend, a tragic accident occurred at the Motor Speedway in Indianapolis. A young motorcycle driver was killed when he apparently lost control of his motorcycle, crashed and was struck by another young motorcyclist during a warm-up lap. The young driver who died was only 13 years-old. The motorcyclist who accidentally struck him was only 12 years-old.

I find it really disturbing that the drivers in this sport are so young. The young motorcyclist who died was just a boy. It’s tragic that the parents lost their son, but I don’t know why they (or any parent) would even allow a child to race in such a dangerous sport where drivers often reach speeds of over 100 mph (161 km/h). It seems like there are a lot of parents who would like to see their children succeed in fame and fortune without very much consideration of the consequences.

What’s even more disturbing is the number of people trying to justify this accident. It’s obvious that these people are protecting their own interests.

“We’ve never had an incident like this and we’ve been racing at almost every single track in the country. Big tracks, small tracks, you name it and these kids have proven time and time again that their skills, their training, their background and everything have proven that these guys are more than ready for a track like this, absolutely.”

– Chief Steward Stewart Aitken-Cade, United States Grand Prix Racers Union

Racers are trying to justify the accident by saying that all racers know the risks involved in these competitions. I disagree. A young person who is 12 or 13 years-old does not necessarily fully understand the risks involved. Tragedy and death are generally uncommon occurences for a young teenager who is still being cared for by his parents. Other people are justifying this accident by saying things like, “he died doing what he loved” (the father of the 13 year-old said this during a television interview).  

It’s horrible that the parents lost their son. It’s also horrible that the 12 year-old is going to have to live with the fact that he accidently struck and killed another boy. However, I believe that this accident was 100% preventable. Parents should think twice about allowing their children to enter dangerous competitions like motorcycle racing. The risks simply aren’t worth it. If parents do not have the foresight to realize this, perhaps it’s up to the racing federations to take proactive measures by raising the age limit.