Just a short one, then i’m done . . . really . . . no really

There’s one thing I totally forgot to say, and that’s congrats to NASCAR for this initiative. Another of Sid’s legacies is smashing through what was was for a long time an impenetrable barrier – the Atlantic. It’s so reassuring to see everybody on the same page in terms of offering the safest environment possible to motorsports participants. Both before AND after something happens.

People disagree about things that seem no-brainers, and they do so sincerely and often for very profound reasons. Stuff that has to do with fundamental conceptions of autonomy etc. So it’s also normal that those visions can clash . . . but at the end of the day all you can do is talk it out. 

Once again, the concussion prevention and management program NASCAR is putting together is a HUGE step forward for everybody. Thanks so much.

4 thoughts on “Just a short one, then i’m done . . . really . . . no really

  1. Interesting story. This is how it should be. Because so many of the symptoms of concussion are subjective, and can therefore be denied, the people making real-time decisions about return-to-competition need reproducible objective tools to help their clinical assessment.

    There has been some controversy about various sideline evaluation tools; the key point is that there IS an evaluation by a knowledgeable and experienced clinician, and that that person be empowered to pull the athlete from competition.

    Lastly, and most importantly, well informed and mature athletes, who understand the concerns, are clearly the MOST important element of any concussion management program.

    Thanks for your comment!

    • Thanks for the reply. It’s one thing explaining the dangers to athletes, but quite another getting them to act in a logical manner during the adrenalin-fueled heat of the moment, as your articles have highlighted. Hopefully this is something that will be introduced at “grass-roots” level so will become second nature to players/drivers/athletes as they progress through their career, or indeed their hobby.

      Since we last spoke, a ‘Guide to Concussion’, – including a pocket ‘Concussion Recognition Tool’ – has been produced by the Irish Rugby Football Union. This can be downloaded from this link:

      Click to access IRFU_Guide_to_Concussion.pdf

      Slightly off topic but relevant nevertheless, every January I attend the Motorsport Safety Fund’s annual Watkins Lecture, held at the Autosport International Motor Show. I have listened to some very insightful discussions involving several high-profile people from the world of motor sport (the guest speaker this coming January will be Charlie Whiting) however there are few better qualified than yourself to give such a presentation. Of course you have commitments elsewhere, but if you were to have an opportunity to speak at this lecture – or others for that matter – I would love to be in the audience.

      All the very best, I hope you have an enjoyable christmas.


      Paul Burns.

  2. Hi Gary,

    I watched with interest in the recent Ireland versus New Zealand rugby match as Brian O’Driscoll was examined following a heavy tackle. A ‘PSCA’ (Pitch Side Concussion Assessment) was carried out, following which the team doctor decided that Ireland’s all-time leading try-scorer would take no further part in the game.

    What’s particularly relevant is that the doctor’s decision is indisputable in this case; in fact O’Driscoll said that he would have attempted to play on, had the doctor merely advised him not to continue.


    Surely it’s time – as you have highlighted in your article – that the motorsport hierarchy actively enforce similar procedures.

    Best regards,


  3. Racers always want to race that is a given. Sometimes they need to be protected from themselves and everyone else needs to be protected from them. As an example I remember Martin Brundle crashing a car and running back to the pits apparently unaffected by it. He jumped in the spare car and was about to leave the pits when he asked Ken Tyrrell (I think Tyrrell) which track he was at. He literally didn’t know whether to turn right or left out of the garage.

    To anyone who spoke to him he seemed normal. This is why testing is needed.

    Keep up the good work Gary.

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