To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Is it Safe for Drivers to Tweet from the Track

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Is it Safe for Drivers to Tweet from the Track

A couple of weeks ago during the long and arduous Daytona 500, Brad Keselowski who races in the Sprint Cup racing series for Penske racing caused quite a stir while the cars were parked on the track during a red flag.  He tweeted from the track.  What did he tweet?  Pictures from his vantage point on the track of the aftermath of fellow driver Juan Pablo Montoya’s collision with the jet fuel powered track dryer.

Technically, there was likely no danger until you consider that in order for Brad to have the phone to send these tweets, he had to have it on his person as he was driving around Daytona at 200+ MPH speeds.  Now I know he tweeted during a relatively safe part of the race but the fact that he could pull the phone out at any time in the car would be enough that it should cause NASCAR some concern.  Now I applaud Brad for reaching out to a fan base on twitter.  NASCAR itself has a twitter account.  However, I think the phone should stay OUT of the car when the driver is in race conditions.  We all know how tempting it is to reach for a phone when we’re driving and while Brad is a consummate professional, I still don’t think it’s a great idea to have the temptation sitting in the car.

To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Is it Safe for Drivers to Tweet from the Track

Since the event, NASCAR has stated that Brad will not be penalized so Brad is off this time.  NASCAR has also made no rule regarding mobile devices in the car.  Brad started carrying his phone in the car in 2007 when he wrecked at Fontana, CA.

So what do you think?  Should they be allowed to carry their phones in the car?  Is it a good idea or is it an accident waiting to happen?

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About the Author

Joel McLaughlin
Joel is a consultant in the IT field and is located in Columbus, OH. While he loves Linux and tends to use it more than anything else, he will stoop to running closed source if it is the best tool for the job. His techno passions are Linux, Android, netbooks, GPS, podcasting and Amateur Radio.

2 Comments on "To Tweet or Not to Tweet: Is it Safe for Drivers to Tweet from the Track"

  1. It wasn’t that he tweeted during a “relatively safe part of the race”. As you said above, the race was in a red flag, which means the race was stopped. Brad did take pictures from inside the car, but the car was stopped and not running. Brad said he kept the phone in the pocket of his fire suit. With full race gear on, driving at race speed, while strapped in, with gloves, there is almost NO WAY, he could get the phone and start tweeting.  This is a big deal about nothing. This is NOT an accident waiting to happen, this is NOT sending the wrong message to people that they can tweet, text, talk and drive. Most people who are commenting on this do not know the situation. It really is not an issue. 

  2. Ok let me put it this way…even though the race was stopped, what if he was absorbed in his phone when a track official was trying to get his attention?  Even during a red flag, it’s possible for equipment to be moving around. What if he rigged his phone so he COULD use it with his gloves on?  This sounds like much ado about nothing and it generally is if that is as far as it goes, but what’s to stop some other driver from doing all he can to make sure he can tweet or text?  When there is a will there is a way.  It’s my opinion Nascar should make a statement before it’s too late and someone gets hurt OR pulls a loophole around the recent rule change that bans communication via radio between teams.  

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