Stories of youngsters’ first times behind the wheel abound will often reference that one time they were propped on a relative’s knee and given the steering wheel to turn while driving down a rural road—inadvisable, yes, but it’s not like the kid was let loose on a race track or something. Unless they were, like this one.
Yes, in a shocking act of automotive barbarism, the driver of a Range Rover was spotted late July lapping the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife race circuit with a small child on his lap steering his luxo-barge through the track’s myriad corners, later setting the internet alight with furious car enthusiasts—most of them parents, presumably.
Endangering the health and safety of children is certainly cringe-worthy, and it’s no surprise that photographs of the nefarious track time shot by Racetracker have garnered such widespread scorn.
A quick analysis of the photos in question reveals the young boy at the helm has the Range Rover loaded up on its outside wheels with plenty of weight transfer, indicating a rather quick cornering speed (for a pre-teen, anyway).
“Yes, but the father (bad uncle?) has control of the pedals, so what could go wrong?” you exclaim.
Well, plenty, because the Nurburgring Nordschleife didn’t earn its reputation as the “Green Hell” because it’s a
walk drive in the park. The death count is a point of contention, but by some estimates, the notoriously challenging track has claimed the lives of more than 900 people since its construction in the late 1920s.
Even in a low-speed collision, the force of the driver’s-side airbag exploding against the head and upper torso of the youngster would be enough to kill or severely maim him, so, for the record, letting a small child sit on your lap to drive a modern vehicle is never a good idea, regardless of the speed or location.
It’s not clearly visible whether or not the adult had strapped the child in between himself and his seatbelt, but if so, this also poses a life-threatening hazard to the child, who would be crushed by the adult’s body mass as it’s abruptly stopped by the seat belt in the event of a crash.
“There are certain people that are eventually going to ruin it for everyone else,” remarked NurburgringNow in a Facebook post pertaining to the actions of the wayward driver, perhaps summing it up best, “This chap deserves a ban for this dangerous stunt. Risking his life, the child’s life and others!”
(racetracker.de with photo via Pinterest)